last weekend (saturday-sunday) i was in brussels, for the FOSDEM 2006 open source conference. i wrote about the conference itself here (hebrew), but here i'd like to write about my experience as a visitor to brussels. i landed before dawn, so i thought i'll take the opportunity to look around the city. the information station at the central bus station wasn't open before 8 am, so i couldn't get a map. so i arrived at the hotel, put my bag down, and headed to town, hoping to find a map there. gurnisht, all i found was schematic maps on signs and pointers to all sorts of buildings. and they were all in french and flemish, not in english! i mean, tourists mostly come from other countries, don't they? so i called the tourist information center by a number i found on one of the signs, and asked where to find a map. the guy there directed me at the wrong way (could be a misunderstanding though) so i wasted an hour walking the wrong way. eventually i wasted all my time, gave up, and went to the conference i came for, hoping to have better luck the next day.
on sunday, i made a bad calculation of time and went to the city hall, where the tourist information point was, hoping to have a chance to look at some of what this city has to offer. it was of course closed, with dozens of tourists hanging around the square in front of it.
three years ago i was in rome. now this is a city brussels can learn from. there are dozens of tourist information points scattered around the city, with maps and other info, so there is no chance for a tourist to get lost there.