Recently I was lucky enough to be sent to Prague for an Immunology Congress. In addition to attending a dynamic summit, I managed to find some time to do a bit of sightseeing in between keynote sessions and meetings. I climbed all the way up to the millennia-old Prague Castle for a spectacular view across Vltava River and into the old town. I then wandered through the 15th Century Golden Lane, as well as St Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St George’s Basilica and the Daliborka Tower. The air was bitingly cold, but the snow gave a soft beauty to the town.
Instead of paying 20 euro per day for a CitySightseeing bus, we recommend that our visitors pay 6 euro for a day pass on the Brussels public transport system that includes trams, metros, and buses. This JUMP pass can be bought at all train stations and at automated ticket machines at all metro stations.
If they’re not catching the metro to see the Atomium and Mini-Europe, then I recommend bus 27 as a great line that stops at many interesting places. It runs from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every 12 minutes on weekdays and every 20 minutes on weekends.
|Gare du Midi
||Thalys and Eurostar international trains
||Everyday. 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
|Jeu de Balle
||Everyday. 6 a.m. – 2 p.m.
||Wittamer cafe and Marcolini Chocolatier
||Every day. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
||Musical Instruments Museum and Magritte Museum
||Tuesday-Sunday. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Mondays, 1 Jan, 1 May, 1 & 11 Nov, 25 Dec
||Mon 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. Tues-Sun 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed 1 Jan, 1 May, 1 November, 24 & 25 & 31 Dec
||Natural History Museum
(10 minute walk through the park)
|Tues-Sun 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Mondays, 1 Jan, 1 May, 25 Dec
||Military Museum and Autoworld
||Tue-Sun 10:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Closed Mondays, 1 Jan, 1 May, 1 November, 25 Dec
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For the month of June, my mum and Josef swapped their house in Australia for a house in Andalusia, Spain. We flew down there for a week to share some time with them in the sun. After a very dreary summer here in Brussels, it was lovely to see some bright blue skies and feel some warmth on our cheeks.
Hayden had his first splash in a pool, but then that night had a mysterious 38oC fever and started developing some strange spots on his legs. At first we thought that it was an allergic reaction, but Adrian emailed one of his paediatrician colleagues, and they said it was likely chicken pox, which was later confirmed. The timing worked out quite well, as we were already on holidays, and the itching didn’t seem to bother Hayden too much. He is very fond of his grandma, and was happy to spend many hours in her arms as he recuperated.
We took a day jeep tour up into the mountainous Sierra Morena, which was quite charming. I enjoyed strolling through the narrow winding streets of the white village of Istán, eating juicy oranges straight from the tree, discovering the cork tree forests in Laurisilva, and finally relaxing in a secluded cool swimming hole with its own waterfall.
I found Andalusia to be a very relaxing region, with its semi-arid climate drawing in tourists like us from the cold wet north. Despite his virus, I think that Hayden had a great time, with both his parents and one set of grandparents to give him constant attention and lots of cuddles.