Thursday, May 31, 2012

Two Cities, Day 3: Brussels

Finally hit up the super touristy areas of Brussels. It was nice to hear more English than usual and enjoy the sunshine, although it was chilly.

This is the Rathaus at the Grote Markt / Grand Place. 
It's a fifteenth century Town Hall, rebuilt after a French bombardment in 1695. 

Side view of the townhall (Rathaus)

I think a wedding had just finished when I was walking through the Markt, so I took a picture!

1,25 euro for a wonderful Belgian waffle!! So good. This is a can't miss type of opportunity. 

This is from the Brussels tourist map I have:
Learn the difference. A real Brussels waffle is square, and a LiĆ©geois is round and caramelised. You put sugar on top of a Brussels one, and nothing on a LiĆ©geois (the sugar is baked into it). If you want the real thing: look for a place with lots of grannies (they always go for the real thing). If you really want to look like a tourist: order extra chocolate or strawberry. 
This one did actually have a lot of grannies around it, and they swarmed after I bought one, but they were speaking English, so I don't think it really indicated a "real Brussels waffle".

Manneken Pis
His suit is changed a few times per month, always by a guy called Jean-Marc. 

Mannekin Pis

Just walking down a nice street and this street lead to a giant dome. Still not sure where or what it is. 

It's possible that this is Kapellekerk la Chapelle, but I'm not sure. 

You can find shoes hanging from wires everywhere!

Statue next to the church pictured above. 

At Place Royale Konings Plein. I'm not sure what this building is - it could be the side of the Royal Palace. 

This is the actually Place Royale Konings Plein. 

Side angle of the Royal Place on Place des Palais. At most palaces, when the flag is raised, the prince(ss) is home, so it's possible I was near royalty! :)

Back at Place Royale Konings Plein. 

In front of the Royal Palace. 
Had to smile awkwardly because of swollen lip. 

Still the Royal Palace. 

Right down this street on the right, I found a wonderful cafe with all fresh foods and drinks. So yummy!

At Place du Trone Troonplein. 

A restaurant called People. Soylent Green, anyone?

My next stop was the music museum, which has the largest collection of instruments in the world. In French (Belgium has two official languages of French and Dutch) it's called Musee des Instruments de Musique. In Dutch it is Muziekinstrumentenmuseum (yes, all one word, which is very similar to the German way of smashing words together to make a new word).

You walked around the museum with headphones and at each instrument, there was a panel to plug them in so you could listen to each instrument. It was amazing!

Wow, super awkward. 

This is a Cathedral at Place Sainte-Gudule (French), AKA Sint Goedele Plein (Dutch). 

I walked this way around because there was a metro station close by, and it was the first one where there was no regulation of whether you punched your ticket before going in (like a turnstile). But I punched it anyways, it's never good to break rules in foreign countries! Although I break the "no pictures" rule all the time!

It was so much fun to just be around Belgian people. They are very welcoming and friendly, even though I often couldn't speak with them. Belgium is a wonderful place to visit and enjoy.

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