Sky and I tooled around the city with Jessa and met up with the Cory, Wayne and their work mates for dinner and drinks at night. We wandered everywhere from the St. Michael’s and Notre Dame cathedrals to shops, museums, the Palace and palace gardens to the ruins of the first palace. When the work week was done, Cory, Sky and me hopped the train for a weekend in Bruges – a perfectly preserved and charming midaevil city. Bruges deserves it’s own page, so hop on over here to read about it!
Our Air BnB apartment was on the third floor on a corner right in the center of Brussels. It was a beautiful place with a starter kit of food and Belgian chocolates on the counter waiting for us when we arrived. Right accross the way was a waffle stand. And the frits! Just down from us was a lovely Irish pub, and all the food you could want was just a stones throw away. Though you have to be careful walking through the winding ally ways where all of the fine dining eateries are. The waiters who stand out front are incredibly pushy; so much so that they actually stepped in front of me and would NOT let me pass by in order to try to get us to agree to eat there, and as we pushed our way by they became rude.
Before Belgium I had been in the cathedral in Savannah, and in a few of them up in Boston, but I had never entered the likes of the ones we got to see in Brussels. I find cathedral architecture fascinating. The ornate works inside these places coupled with the deep history is compelling. And though I am not religious, there’s no denying the sense of peace that exists within their walls. We turned a corner and stumbled upon Notre Dame Church which didn’t look like much from the outside, but when we walked in it was something to behold. Saint Michael’s was on a much more grand scale.
The comic strip museum was fun – The Smurf and Tin Tin both originated in Belgium. The chocolate museum was small, but it was interesting to watch it be made, and to eat the samples (of course).The beer museum was tiny, but it was fun. I let Sky have a beer with me, but she wasn’t too keen on the taste. I already had a love for Lambic, but since it flows from every tap in Belgium, I am now an expert…mostly. My favorites were the music museum and the original castle ruins. The wall art through out Brussels was a treat.
I loved the open fresh markets in the middle of the city, and the street musicians. I loved the crepes and the shopping. I loved listening to the bar fights that were played out in French just down the street, and the fresh cool air through the windows every night.
I love that our groceries for the whole week were no more than $50 with not one processed or non fresh item. Belgium is where I learned that I have a fascination for ornate door knockers, and now I photograph them everywhere I go.