Bonjour my friends.
A part of our ADV 300 – Comparative Cultures in Advertising course (yes, I’m actually taking a class in London) is visiting Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels office and Toyota European headquarters located in Brussels, and that was this past weekend. We woke up at 5am and headed to St. Pancras station to take the Eurostar to Brussels. It was a tough ride.
Once we got there, there was no stopping us from getting food. I was casually looking through the menu and then I saw my favorite Croque Madame was on it! Needless to say I enjoyed my brunch very very much.
After a quick lunch break, we were on our way to Saatchi & Saatchi! Our professor got us a bus which is obviously too small for 11 people (#Sarcasm) and of course it was a #PartyBus.
And then we were here! The office itself wasn’t really big, but it was very “Saatchi,” according to our professor, who’s worked at Saatchi for over 20 years. Clean design with a lot of white while the creative side of the office is very free and limitless.
Best sugar candy ever. Little drops of heaven
Saatchi’s Cannes Advertising awards
The creative side of the office
Overall, I was really impressed by Saatchi’s presentation. It was very detailed and organized. It was obvious that Saatchi focuses a lot on strategy – finding the human truth as their reasoning for their advertising creatives and strategies. It was great having the opportunity to really see advertising agencies at work.
This is a building in Brussels. #lol based on my understanding with my poor French skills, the driver said this was a place where the loyal families are buried after they passed away
Just a casual chocolate shop in Brussels. I’m now officially on a strict diet because of all the chocolate I ate (and still have a lot of it in my bag to eat throughout the summer hehe)
After the visit, we went to the Grand Place for dinner. La Grand Place is one of the most beautiful plazas in the world where you’re surrounded by beautiful and enormous architecture, and you just can’t help but to take a lot of pictures.
With my girls Abby Boo and Ali G-star
We came, we saw, we conquered.
This is where we had our dinner – paid by Syracuse University (thanks boo!) Fresh seafood with tons of options on entrees and appetizers. Hashtag nom!
Aaaaaaand we absolutely killed it. Please remember this is a bill in Euros and for 12 people. Welp, education fees at their finest
The night just kept getting better. My little Willy Ho, who’s been studying in Strasbourg for the past 6 months, came to Brussels to visit! We met up after dinner and decided to take over the city.
Was gonna take a selfie with my little but Brittany’s photobomb just made this so much better
First we went to see the Manneken Pis. I still don’t really understand the importance of the statue, but we came to see it anyways. I heard they dress him up for different occasions, too bad they didn’t dress him up in Syracuse gear for our arrival.
We went to Karaoke for the night by accident. It was bizarre because while all we wanted to do was sing Brittany Spears (or, in my case, Sk8er Boi by Avril Lavigne) and laugh, everyone else was signing French ballads. We still had a great time, though, and it was quite the experience!
Sk8er Boi. Crushin’ it!
The next day we went around Brussels for a bit before our visit to Toyota. Brussels is a big city yet small enough to walk around, if you have the strength and the time. I actually prefer to walk around while visiting places because it really gives a good perspective of the place. Famous cities are not just made out of famous architecture and monuments, there’s also the people and the culture part, and that’s what’s important about traveling.
what an unfortunate design for a souvenir?
I really do not understand Belgium’s obsession with baby statues. They’re literally everywhere.
the legendary Belgian waffles
The Royal Palace
My bestie roommie Will and I took over
another baby statue…
And we were off to Toyota! It was so professional and so great to have the opportunity to hear from the client side of the whole advertising business. Toyota, being the number 1 car manufacturer in the world, really has a lot of important lessons to teach us.
Ali feeling official with her name tag
I’m pretty official myself
The class takes Toyota!
After the visit, we all separated for the weekend. My little, Paige, and I stayed in Brussels for the remaining of the day. We decided to walk around Brussels to really see the city. Belgium/Brussels is very interesting – unlike anything I’ve seen before. Having been heavily influenced by 3 different cultures – the Dutch, the French, and the German, the architecture, the people, the culture, everything is so mixed and you just feel like anyone and anything could blend in easily here.
My little and I are totally models.
Best. Waffels. Ever.
And then we went out to two bars – A La Bécasse and Delirium Café
The first one is kind of a cool-to-experience place, but if you’re looking for a popping bar/pub, go to Delirium Cafe – one of the most fun bars I’ve ever been to. Delirium is a Belgian beer with high alcohol volume. It’s not the best tasting beer I’ve had, but one has got to try Belgian beer while in Belgium, right?
The next day we made a day trip to Luxembourg – a small country with a lot to see. We took the train there at 7 in the morning. While the Internet said it’d take 2 hours to get there, the train actually took a little more than 3 hours, so if you’re ever thinking about going to Luxembourg from Brussels, plan accordingly!
so excited! 😀
I can’t really tell you where we were or what I took pictures of since I don’t really know myself. I wasn’t quite prepared to get the “proper” look of Luxembourg since I didn’t do any research about the place. I was kind of in the mood to just walk and explore, and it was a lot of fun!
We have a special bond… it’s a Bryan-Wilson thing
And we ran into our friends in Luxembourg! What a small country! Literally!
At a Casemate. I don’t even know.
Luxembourg guard. Hi.
I didn’t choose the thug life. The thug life chose me.
Nek Minute! It’s a slang from New Zealand – “Next Minute”
The trio takes Delirium Cafe for the second time in a row
Hi German tourist!
And then we all came back to London. Overall this is yet another great weekend to be alive. Belgium is definitely one of a kind, and I would love to come back again soon. My stay in Belgium was only in Brussels, so I’d love to visit some very Flemish part in the North and some very French-influenced cities in the South part too. I loved my stay in Brussels and Luxembourg. I met some people from Germany and New Zealand; I ate a lot of chocolate, waffles, fries, and had a lot of beer (oops). I’ve been going on 5 mile runs everyday since I’ve been back from Brussels, but I can still feel the fries inside my body 😦
I have a week of class in London but traveling again to Barcelona this weekend! It’s going to be my first time in Spain, so I am very excited! Please stay tuend for some amazing Spanish passion next week and I hope you enjoyed this blog post as well 🙂
bisou bisou ❤
“I’m now on a strict diet” Bryan