snapshots of my travels
Grand Place (Grote Markt)
Situated in the told part of the city, the Grote Markt is a hub for social life. There is a happy buzz in the air. Nearby, people dine at an outdoor cafe. The ground is covered in flowers of every color being sold at a market. The buildings encompassing the open square, such as the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall), are pure archaeological elegance.
Honestly, I was utterly perplexed as to why this little baby statue is so famous. There was a huge crowd gathered around the fountain and I had to push my way through to the front just to see what all the fuss was about. A peeing baby, dressed in uniform. "Over time it has become a tradition for visiting heads of state to donate miniature versions of their national costume for the little naked boy. The wardrobe of Mannekin Pis can be seen at the Brussels museum and includes over 760 outfits – even an authentic Elvis jumpsuit."
Try a Belgian waffle
After basking in the greatness of the fountain - just kidding - grab a waffle nearby. With all the delicious smells nearby, it is impossible to resist. Some were sprinkled with powdered sugar, others with bananas and Nutella. I picked the one topped with fruit and melted chocolate. As I bit in to my waffle, the caramelized edges cracked and my mouth went straight to heaven. I needed all those napkins to wipe up my face of chocolate afterwards.
Atomium and Mini Europe
The Atomium, which represents a molecule, was made for the World Fair in 1958. It's quite huge - the nine spheres are linked by escalators. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to go inside and experience it's magnificent views over the city. It is also right next to a theme park, Mini Europe, for anyone out there with children.
Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
Stroll through Europe's original covered shopping gallery, home to a Godiva store, a Häagen-Dazs cafe, and many other chocolate shops, maracon shops, and traditional Belgium trinket stores. If you're anything like me, you'll want to carve out a few hours here to walk through each and every chocolate store just to see all the flavors and shapes and prices before finally buying something.
Saint-Michel Cathedral (Sint-Michiels Kathedraal)
Just a few steps from the gallery is this gorgeous Gothic church founded in 1225. It was built for the patron saints of Brussels - Saint Michael and Saint Gudula. The inside features the most breathtaking stained glass windows and a giant organ.
If you aren't a fan of beer, try a Belgian coffee instead
I can't understand why anyone would truly like beer. I just hate the stuff. No matter how wonderful Belgian beer is, I wasn't buying it only to have one unpleasant sip and throw the rest in the trash. Instead, I opted for a Belgian coffee - a blend of black coffee, Cointreau, and whip cream on top.
Comic Book Strip
Around the city center, there are comic book murals painted onto the sides of buildings. These works of art were commissioned by the city. Each mural has a little map nearby to help direct you to the next one.