As you probably understand from the title of this post, I have been to Brussels! The city of waffles, fries, chocolate and the European Union.
But now you might be wondering exactly why I went to Brussels in the first place, and what I thought about the city. To answer your first question, I traveled along with 10 other youths from the Youth County Council of Hedmark (the county I currently live in) to learn about the European Union. The organization was invited by the European Office of the Oslo Region to learn more about how the EU works and how much it actually affects us, despite Norway not being a member of it.
This part of the trip was probably the most informative, and surprising one. To be completely honest, the level of knowledge an average student in Norway has on the EU is minimal. It tends to be because we automatically think negatively about it, since that’s what the Norwegians have been brought up to do since the referendums in the 70’s. (I don’t really know why though). I’m not saying that I suddenly am pro-EU after visiting Brussels, but it did indeed change my perspective. Although I’m still not sure on were I stand on joining or staying out of the EU, I know feel like I can make a better decision based on the knowledge I have gathered.
We also learned a bunch of other things, but I’m to lazy to write them all :)) hehe
The tourist part of the trip wasn’t really big. The program was for the most part filled with political activities and meeting, but we did manage to sneak in some tourism on the evenings. Nevertheless, we got to see quite a bit of the city. Down below you can find some pictures of me and the others.
Anyways… I really liked Brussels. The architecture of the old buildings, layout of the city and general feel was beautiful. Although I will go ahead and admit that Maniken Pis (a symbol of Brussels, google it) was disappointingly small! I guess that nobody can be perfect 🙂 Still, I’d love to come back to Brussels someday!
Thanks for reading! – Olivia
(Tomorrow is the 17th of May, Norway’s National Day, and I might write a post on it)