Brussels

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Belgium



Belgium

Brussels was our final destination on the trip. We had been in and out of Brussels all week staying with our friend, Jodi, between city visits. It was so nice to have a home base to return to during the trip and to get to meet lots of Jodi's friends throughout the week. Jodi was a wonderful host and pointed us in the direction of many great spots to visit.





Belgium



The view from her apartment's terrace.







Belgium

On Sunday afternoon, we headed out to Place Flagey for pommes frites. These thick cut fries are double fried and served with your choice of condiments...Jon went with the traditional mayo and I ordered cocktail sauce which turned out to be tartar sauce. A really delicious treat served with fun mini forks.





Then, Jodi and her friend, Israel, got oysters and champagne from a street vendor. After Israel showed us how to properly eat an oyster, we all tried one.



Belgium




Belgium

I'm pretty sure that will be the last oyster that I eat.






Belgium

Jon's reaction: "It tastes just like the ocean"







Belgium

After the oysters and champagne, we walked around Brussels and saw some of the many art deco homes in the city.



Belgium


Belgium





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Then we tried our first taste of Belgian beer at a café. Jon and I both really like the beer, probably because it was a deliciously sweet lambic brew. Jon's was made with cherries and mine was made with raspberries. It tasted more like sparkling juice than beer, which is probably why we enjoyed it so much.



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Well, Jon enjoyed it a little bit too much...he was feeling the effects pretty quickly and provided quite the entertainment as we asked him questions and he had a 4-5 second delay in answering. (We can blame the lack of sleep on the train ride for that, too!)


On Sunday night, we visited the Atomium, the installation originally intended for the 1958 Brussels World's Fair. One day, the Atomium will give the Eiffel Tower a run for it's money (or not).

Belgium





Then we headed back to the Grand Place for more waffles...


Belgium

Belgium



One of many waffles consumed last
week! We went with the traditional gaufres de liege, soft inside,
crunchy outside with a thin sugary glaze. Yummy!



(And in case you're thinking, "what exactly did they eat on Sunday?"...I'll tell you: We each ate one marzipan croissant for breakfast in the Cologne train station, one large pommes frites, one glass of champagne, one oyster, one glass of lambic beer, and one waffle. Our stomachs were in uproar that day!)





Brussels

And then, we saw Brussels' beloved Manneken Pis for the first time. After hearing all the hype about this statue, I though he would be a lot bigger than he was. Some of the molded candy and chocolate in the store windows were even bigger than the statue. I'm guessing he was less than two feet tall. Lots of different groups like to dress him up in costumes and there's even a museum filled with past outfits he's worn.


Brussels


Actual size





Jon and I spent Monday, the last day of the trip, leisurely exploring the city on our own and stocking up on Belgian chocolate. We had seen most of the sites during our evening explorations of the city with Jodi, but we wanted to check out everything during the day.




Belgium

Getting lost on the way to meeting Jodi for lunch resulted in discovering this lovely mural.





Belgium



Royal Palace of Brussels





Belgium



European Union



Brussels



Brussels



Artist Gu Wenda's lantern installation on the Mont des Artes






Brussels



√√Ęglise Notre Dame du Sablon






Brussels



The Grand Place







Brussels






Check out the rest of the Brussels photos on flickr, here.

Thanks for following along on all of these trip recap posts!



13 comments

  1. oh, I want to go to Brussels now! *sigh* so jealous :)

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  2. Brussels looks amazing! The architecture is gorgeous... and I'm so glad you stumbled upon that mural! I agree with you on oysters... not for me!

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  3. Hey, I recognize those places! Glad you enjoyed Brussels. It's been fun to read about your adventures in Europe. :)

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  4. I LOVE Belgian beer - is it wrong to want to go visit just for the beer - ha ha! Looks like you guys had a wonderful time - what an amazing trip!

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  5. Great photos! Love the art deco shots. I was there a couple years ago and went to a conference out by the atomium. Crazy, isn't it? You are totally making my mouth water for waffles. No Belgian waffle in the US ever tasted like those, did it? Best bought at train stations and eaten while freezing cold, waiting for a train. :) Glad to hear that you had a great time!

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  6. brussels looks like such a charming city. i've so enjoyed reading your vacation posts!

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  7. I had so much fun following your trip, and wished I could hop right into my computer screen and visit all these places myself. Looks like you guys had a wonderful trip, hope you got lots of fun souveniers!

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  8. I want to live in the house with round windows. Wow Brussels looks amazing!!!

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  9. i am drooling all over myself. seriously-- does it get any better?

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  10. Marzipan croissant! LOL now you're speaking my language :)
    Didn't make it to Bruges? Have you seen the film In Bruges. A very naughty laugh!

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  11. I've really enjoyed looking at your pictures and reading the posts. Reminded me of some of the places I visited a few years ago and a few that I wish we had seen! Lovely!

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  12. Fantastic! I lived in Brussels when I was a teenager, just for a few months, when I was an au paire, but it totally brought back memories to see your pictures. Ah, Brussels. I remember thinking that the Mannekin Pis was pretty small too. But cute, in a kitschy kinda way.

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  13. OHHHHHH!!! I just saw this. Warmed my heart. Thanks! xox

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