Another one of those road trips through scenic Europe that was rather convenient from Luxembourg. We wrapped three cities in Belgium by road over the weekend and on the day we had to leave we were left lusting for more hopefully someday soon. Even after being to many amazing places in Europe over the past 4 years it’s Belgium where we left our hearts at. I have not come across anyone who makes beer and chocolates as delicious as the Belgians do. They are also know for fries with a variety of sauces and waffles with an array of toppings. Somehow I felt they were a lot better in Amsterdam, but that did not stop us from going for a second round of fries with a glass of delicious blondie (aka, blonde beer).
The country side drive to Brussels was enough to arouse us at the thought of what lied at the end of the road. The scenic 2 hour drive on a lovely day made it all worthwhile. Picture; endless fields of delicate yellow canola flowers on either side, crisp blue sky, beautiful sunny day, occasional spotting of windmills and farmer’s houses of the side of the roads and that amazing road to drive on.
THINGS TO DO IN BRUSSELS:
On reaching Brussels we parked our car at a paid parking and explored the city on foot. We first headed to the Grand Place or Gorte Markt which is Brussels’s town hall. This square is the heart of Brussels with spectacular architecture. The historic buildings of this place are rather striking. It is also known to be one of the most beautiful square in the world. The most dominant building in the square is Hotel De Ville which is a rather gripping Gothic structure in the square. We strolled around, explored many cafès, surveyed souvenir stores and sampled some Belgium chocolates from few of the 100 chocolate stores in the city which made picking specifically what we wanted, rather difficult.
We were soon on a look out for the statue of a famous boy pissing (No, really!) also known as the Manneken Pis (rings the obvious). This little guy is somewhat an icon in the country and his pictures, drawings are on everything touristy and represents Belgium humour. He also has many outfits for special occasions which makes him a little more interesting to look at, otherwise he is pretty naked and peeing all the time. He was wearing one (we couldn’t figure what that outfit represented) when we paid him a visit and the most important thing we noticed and were slightly disappointed at was how tiny the statue was. Well, no regrets whatsoever because catching up with the hype we explored the city further, stumbled across some beautiful old world houses and walked in graffitied alleyways.
Belgium Centre of Comic Strip Art
There is also the Belgium Centre of Comic Strip Art or popularly know as the Tin Tin museum that we stepped in for a little while. Here on display are the original comic strips of ‘The Adventures of Tin Tin’, Smurfs and Astrix focused mainly on the stories of Belgium history. If you have read Astrix and Tin Tin’s Belgium adventures in comic, you know what I mean. After half a day in the city we finally settled to for some assorted chocolate truffles and strawberry covered in chocolate for the road while we were headed to Gent.
Good to know:
- Brussels is nice to visit but slightly overrated.
- A half day stop to see what all the hype was about, was enough for us.
- We had a car to tour around in so it wasn’t much of an inconvenience. It was on the way to Ghent for us; our next destination.
- We recommend spending more time in Ghent and Bruges in Belgium.
- Brussels is a great base to get to other places; to Paris, to Amsterdam, to Luxembourg. Extremely convenient.
- As it was a weekend, everywhere it was extremely crowded and service was at it’s worst. Avoid weekends if you want to enjoy the capital.
Enjoy pictures taken by my husband and myself and look-forward for more in our upcoming Belgium stories.
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