…and just when I was hitting a bit of a low point, and thought I’d spend another evening locked in, despite the sunshine, I got a message…

Georgios from Chicago, whom I had met a few times in Hong Kong over beers, texted me that he was in town.

He was heading to Paris, to run the Marathon, but due to a strike his flight got cancelled and he was re-routed to Brussels, where he stayed for one night.

I met him and his friend, a SouthWest pilot, in their downtown hotel and we went for a quick walk. Grand Place, Manneken Pis and Belgian Beer were on our list for the first 45 minutes.

I showed them some of the comic strips painted on the walls and we sat down for dinner, in their case Flemish beef stew with fries and a Blanche, followed by waffles in a little Café in the marvelous Galleries St. Hubert, a 19th century shopping mall made of marble and a fantastic glass ceiling…

They had picked the perfect day for their impromptu visit – sunny, warm, a hint of spring in the air.

We rounded off the evening in Café Belgica, a tiny bar in rue Marché aux Charbons in the heart of Brussels’ gay area, already filling up with the boys with their beers in hand.

It was a perfect evening.

First of all, I got to show them a few places of my home town that I hadn’t seen myself in a very long time, and I remembered more and more places as I walked around, re-discovering.

Second, it was like a greeting from my journey, a reminder that I really did do it; that I had not dreamt it all up.

I can’t wait for the next visitor.

GeorgiosPS: Despite the jet lag; the beers, fries, the stew and the waffle… two days later he made it! 4h00!

Congrats, Georgios!