An Escapologist’s Diary: Part 70. Belgique.

We took an 8-hour train journey from Scotland to Belgium last week. I wanted to go on Eurostar* and to see THE ATOMIUM.

(*I’d somehow never been on this famous train, yet I longed to go on it when they were still drilling the hole)

For years, I thought the Atomium was a sculpture but, of course, it’s a building. You can go inside it.

Each of the little pods holds a visitor attraction: there’s a restaurant, a contemporary art gallery, an exhibition about the 1958 World’s Fair for which the Atomium was built, and so on.

One of the pods held a scale model of the Atomium. I was in a silly mood, high on life, so I gave it a kiss.

(I have a cold now, but I’m sure that’s an unrelated coincidence.)

Much like in Naples, we saw a lot of rain during this trip, but we’d have got just as wet if we’d stayed at home in Glasgow. Besides, when you travel by train you can take an umbrella along without worrying that it will be confiscated when it doesn’t fit into your little travel bag.

And in Glasgow we wouldn’t have seen the six art museums we visited in Belgium, enriching me to the very core. The older I get, the more I thirst for art. I was desperate to see art during the pandemic. I’m keen to see more of the world, to see more art and to hear more languages, before the next disaster forces us all to stay at home again. The pandemic happened after a year of voluntarily not travelling in order to save money or emissions or something, so I saw shit all for three years. I have learned my lesson.

I won’t say too much more about the trip because my travel entries to this diary are boring. All you need to know, dear imaginary shareholder, is that we saw four cities (Brussels, Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp) in four days (or in three days actually, since the fourth was spent in Brussels where we began) and that it was great, great, great.

Travel. It cannot be beat. Also, I saw THE ATOMIUM. With mine eyes. We went up it in a lift!


Help me to fund more micro-adventures buy buying my books, I’m Out and The Good Life for Wage Slaves.


Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at

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