Miles Starforth's Lokeren diary: Day 2

Brussels Centraal
Brussels Centraal

Last night I took a stroll around Brussels.

Thousands were doing the same thing on a warm, pleasant evening in the Belgian capital.

The TVs in bars and cafes were showing news of the latest atrocity a few hundred miles away in Germany.

And the sad thing was that reports of a mass shooting in Munich didn't come as a surprise given the events of the past year or so.

Brussels itself been in and out of the news itself since late last year, but people were going about their normal lives. It felt like a normal Friday night.

Tourists milled around the Grand Place and took photos and selfies. They drank. They ate.

Teenagers sat in groups on the cobbles and chatted.

A large party from Mexico sang in the centre of the square, watched closely by police stationed at its four corners.

Patrol cars crawled the tight and winding streets around the Grand Place.

There was a military presence elsewhere.

There was also heavy security at Brussels Airport, scene of an attack earlier this year.

Newcastle United's flew in this morning ahead of this afternoon's friendly against Sporting Lokeren.

Four years ago, the club passed through Munich during a pre-season tour of Germany and Austria.

Europe feels different now.

But people in Brussels are attempting getting on with their lives.

And that stroll was heartening at a heart-breaking time for Europe.