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October 24, 2007

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WHERE'S JOHNNY JET?                                 Brussels, Belgium

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I just arrived back in Southern California. As you know, it's complete chaos out in the mountains and valleys, due to the raging wildfires, which have now forced 321,000 people from their homes. I live down at the beach and here, it's the complete opposite. There is no wind and the only sign of fire is the orange night sky and the smoke on the horizon. It's also in the air, as my allergies are acting up. I hope that the weather changes soon and that the fires are extinguished. For all of those who have been impacted by these devastating fires, I pray that everyone stays safe and is soon able to return to their homes to start rebuilding their lives. In the meantime here is a good website on fire updates.

Bonjour from Belgium! This is the fifth and final country on my European excursion. I began in England, took the train to nearby Wales and then flew to Germany. Last week, I was in Cologne and from there, drove to Brussels via the Netherlands. Driving through these European countries is similar to driving through the northeastern United States. The distance between the eastern seaboard states is the same as that between these countries. But the big difference in Europe is that once you've crossed a border (there are no barriers), everything changes, from the language to the food. It's mind-boggling and a complete joy to experience. You'll experience it all for yourself by reading this week's story, checking out the photos and viewing our two-minute video as well. Brussels is a wonderful and charming destination, but don't just take my word for it! Get a woman's perspective and join my sister Georgie Jet on her tour of Brussels. She was there on assignment this past June and has even more suggestions to help travelers enjoy this beautiful European city.

I had no idea Brussels was so close to Cologne. It's just two hours and fifteen minutes by train or car. A last-minute train ticket would have cost 107 euro ($153USD). And even with the price of gas being over $7.50/gallon (and you thought America had it bad), it was still much cheaper for me and my friend Annabelle to hop in the car. Fortunately, Annabelle lives in Germany and owns an automobile. I love driving on the Autobahn. In some places, there really are no speed limits. Is that crazy or what? At times, we were cruising at a speed of about 100mph, yet other drivers were still flying past us. You quickly learn that it's best to drive in the right lane because the left lane is used only for passing. Why can't Americans be this civil? But once we hit the Netherlands, it was time to hit the brakes because the Dutch and Belgians enforce strict 120km (74mph) speed limits. It only took us about 20 minutes to pass through The Netherlands and that doesn't include the stop we made to get gas, since it's a bit cheaper there than in Germany.

If you're flying from the U.S., there are 10 direct flights to Brussels from North America: American Airlines (departing from New York and Chicago), Continental (departing from Newark), Delta (departing from New York and Atlanta), Jet Airways (departing from Newark, Toronto and New York), United (departing from Washington DC) and US Airways (departing from Philadelphia). A taxi from the Brussels Airport (BRU) into the city takes between 20 and 40 minutes (depending on traffic) and costs around 25 euro. The cheapest and fastest way to travel to the city is by train. The train leaves the airport every 15 minutes (from 5am until 12:15am) and takes approximately 15 to 25 minutes (2.80 euro). Note: Most low-fare carriers fly into Charleroi Airport, which is about 50km south of Brussels.

Fall and winter flights to Brussels are currently on sale from US Airways. Fares start at $571 round-trip. Travel is valid from October 17 through October 27 and from December 14 through December 23. Check this out for more information: Brussels sale fares on from $571 R/T*

If you're visiting Brussels from London, travel just got a whole lot faster on Eurostar. Beginning on November 14, the new high-speed train service from St. Pancras International Terminal to Brussels will cut travel time down from two hours and 45 minutes to just one hour and 51 minutes! For more information, log on to

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Copyright 2007 JohnnyJet, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Pictures From

The Trip


L.A. Sunset


Drive To Brussels


The Netherlands




Belgium Border


Getting Close


French Influence


Brussels Central Train Station


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