Brussels in 42 hours.
You always hear about Brussels and know that it’s where the European Parliament is and that it’s the capital of Belgium, but you don’t, or at least personally I don’t, have a picture in your mind of what Brussels looks like. Paris has the Eiffel Tower, London the London eye and Berlin the wall/Brandenburg Gate. But what does Brussels have? Well to my surprise their mascot is actually a small boy weeing! The statue of the boy is a small fountain, which they even dress up and has previously been stolen by local university students. However this fountain is said to be the second most disappointing monument in Europe, as it’s so small.
I expected Brussels to be full of very grand, old, fancy buildings, which it was. But to my surprise it was also a very lively city. I thought it would be very quiet and fairly pompous, but it was actually very lively in the evening and full of bars/restaurants.
I went on a free walking tour on Thursday morning, led by a young Greek woman. She was very funny and told us all the legends the Belgians love to claim are real, especially to tourists. For example the town hall is extremely wonky when you look at it properly, the windows are different on each side, the lengths of each side are different and most annoyingly the archway under the tower isn’t central. Belgians claim that the architect had too much beer and didn’t realise until it was finished, at which point he threw himself off the spire. Apparently this wasn’t true and the building is wonky because there used to be a house on one side. But that doesn’t make as good of a story. On the walking tour I also got talking to a couple of the younger people on the tour with me, one a marine biologist from Canada and the other a Chemist from England.
In the evening I walked back through the city, taking photos. When taking photos in the main square two guys insisted they would make the photo even more beautiful, so now I have a photo of two random foreign men in Brussels!
During my stay I, of course, ate a lot of waffles and chocolate and dare I say that I think the Belgian pain au chocolat are better than the French ones!
Unfortunately I think my brother gave me a cold when he came to stay. Therefore I bought some Vitamin C, which personally I find really helps when I have a cold, and have antibiotics if/when I need them. Luckily it’s not too bad so I think should hopefully be gone within a few days…fingers crossed!
I’m off to Paris now for a couple days, before coming back to the UK on Monday. I’m super excited about seeing my friends and family again and some of them even seem to be excited to be seeing me soon.