Our first official deviation from our “official-unofficial” route around Western Europe turned out to be a two night stop in Brussels. Upon arrival, the city doesn’t offer much. The streets are slightly dingy with homeless in the door stops and many small run-down businesses up and down the streets. It was easy to think we made a poor decision. Then we ventured out to the city centre and found where the heart of Brussels truly lies.
Streets and alleys full of cafés, pubs and bars. Restaurants up and down the lanes. Seafood around every corner: mussels, clams, oysters and prawns. Being beckoned to enter each establishment for platters of food. We obliged.
Wandered into les Galéries de Saint Hubert, de la Reine et du Roi. Stood awe-struck from its beauty. Designer labels ranging from Rolex to Longchamp to Swarovski. Designer chocolates. Designer shopping at its finest.
Explored some more. Found the Mannekin Pis dressed up in his American garb for the 4th of July, with a top hat indicating “Yes We Can”! Kept walking. Stared at the waffles in the window. Bought Belgian chocolate that melts in your fingers in the 35 degree heat. Discovered Grand-Place with its gold-ornamented buildings.
Walked again. Up a large hill. Entered la Cathédrale des Saints Michael et Gudule. Marvelled at the stained glass, the vaulted ceilings, the enormous, black, carved pulpit.
In the end, I’ve decided Brussels is worth the trip out. On d you enter the square, finding culture isn’t tough. In fact, it’s right in front of your face. Let it be known that judging a book by its cover does you no good.
Next stop: Germany. Cologne with a trip out to Düsseldorf, Liepzig with days out to Berlin. I’m pretty lucky.
‘Til the next, loves xx