Monday, August 24

Brussels

The last time I was in Brussels was 1996. Honestly, I don't have very fond memories of it. It was gray, foggy and rainy and there was an incident with the clerk at the Tourist Office. I have vague memories of a row of restaurants serving paella and mussels. I remember being shocked at how small and unassuming the famous Manneken Pis was. Mostly I just remember it being gray. After Bryce and his friends spent an evening there this spring, I became interested in giving it another try. I'm so glad I did. We drove from Ghent and headed straight for The Grand Place.

The Grand Place is the most amazing collection of buildings. The buildings are incredibly ornate, Gothic at it's very definition. Every available surface being gilded, textured, decorated or adorned in some way. It would be enough to examine each of them for a day. The square in the center of the buildings holds a small flower market and a variety of artists selling paintings of Brussels.

We had to visit this little guy. We told the girls all about Mr. Pis before our visit. They really got a kick out of it. Perfect little kid humor. Interesting fact: He was stolen in the late 1800s. The thief was apprehended and Mr. Pis was shattered. He was recast and still remains to day.

Brussels is also chock full of museums and other cool attractions. We drove past a flea market on the way out that left Emily and I wishing we'd seen it sooner. Unfortunately this visit we didn't venture very far from The Grand Place. We did stroll down the row of seafood restaurants. Someday Bryce and I will return and have a romantic dinner there. . .

There are souvenir shops, chocolate shops, sweet shops, lace shops, cafes, bars and restaurants surrounding the square. Clearly you could shop or eat your way through Brussels. We chose the latter. A whole post is devoted to "the latter." I'll just leave you with a quote from Emily: I'm just going to eat frites and waffles (tomorrow) and be okay with it.

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Real Time update: I'm so back logged with travel posting, that you're missing some great real time stuff: Our wonderfual day on Sunday at Park Merveilleux. My obsessive attempts at making a Mirabelle Tart - 2 attempts. Today I "researched" by buying a tartlette from the best bakery in Luxembourg. I think more "research" may be in order. Today we cracked hazelnuts open in the backyard with a hammer!! Okay, my goal is to be caught up by Wednesday evening. Um. That's just a goal. Often times goals aren't reached. Just keep that in mind.

2 comments:

Emily said...

sorry the tart isn't going well!!

jojoebi said...

I was not too impressed my Mr Pis either - especially since we walked round for 3 hours trying to find him AND we managed to walk past him twice - but didn't notice coz he was so small! What was cool was in the evening, we were sat in the square drinking beer when suddenly all the lights went out, a minute or two later they came back on with music and the did a musical/lights show lighting up all the different building in the square. Totally unexpected and totally amazing. The waffles were good too!

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