I have been meaning to write about my trip to Brussels ever since I went a week and a half ago but I have been poorly and haven’t had the energy to do it. In light of what happened yesterday I feel like it is the best time to write it. Belgium and Brussels is a beautiful place and the people are lovely too and that is what should be remembered, not the images of desperation and rubble.
So I got up at 6:15am in Erfstadt and took the train to Cologne where I would then get my Thalys to Brussels.
The Thalys was a beautiful train, with LOADS of leg room and comfortable seats. It was even better when I sat in Comfort 1 on the way back..but I’ll tell you about that nearer the end..I arrived within 1 hour and 45 minutes from Cologne, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to meet my friend and the new city!
We had such a beautiful day for it! It was cold but not too cold and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Making my pictures extra special.
I was very lucky too, as my friend, Marjolein being dutch was able to tell me the history of the places we were visiting! Something I wouldn’t have had if I had gone on my own and she was better than any history leaflet or audio guide!
So we just walked around Brussels, soaking in the architecture and the beautiful weather.
One thing I was really surprised at, was the language of Brussels. I thought it was dutch,but everyone spoke French. Even the road signs are French. There I was just getting used to reading German and getting about speaking the language and there I was feeling like I had travelled more than 2 hours out of Germany! I really wasn’t expecting to hear French! Apparently though, Belgium is very multilingual. Half of Belgium speaks Flemish the other half speaks French and Brussels is mainly French with a bit of dutch. I couldn’t keep up!
Above are pictures I took of a vintage antiques shop! It was full of so many old things, from fridges, to garden furniture to phones. AMAZING!! I also had a bit of conversation with some English people about the auction programmes you get in England.
The left picture is of King Albert and the right is of Elizabeth. They both face each other ❤ and were very much loved by the Belgians.
‘The tower, its front archway and the main building façade are conspicuously off-centre relative to one another. According to legend, the architect upon discovering this “error” leapt to his death from the tower. More likely, the asymmetry of the Town Hall was an accepted consequence of the scattered construction history and space constraints.’- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brussels_Town_Hall – 23/03/2016
The square is one of the most beautiful squares I have ever seen. The gold on the front of the building was beautiful and all the buildings were so old. It had an amazing atmosphere I could have stayed there all day.
The Mannekin Pis – a statue of a little boy weeing into the fountain. Put there in 1619.
The Jeanneke Pis – erected in 1987.
We stopped at a tourist restaurant, much to Marjolein’s possible disgust as a native Belgian :P. I wanted to have traditional Belgian food whilst I was there and decided to have a recommendation from Marjolein. A beer beef stew, with fries and salad. I must say it was GLORIOUS!! Apparently everyone cooks it and everyone has their own special way of cooking it. With different types of beers and some sweet some not. I was a little bit nervous about eating it as I hate beer and was worried it would taste too strong for me, but you don’t even realise it is beer. The beer just gave it a sweet taste. It was yummy and my plate was completely cleared and so was Marjolein’s.
After all the walking and seeing the sights we then went back to the train station and Marjolein treated me to a Belgian waffle. YUMMY. Apparently the traditional, native way is to have a Belgian waffle plane with no topping. It was so delicious and very sugary!
I had a great time seeing Brussels and learning all about the history of the Royal Family and their buildings and of course a great time seeing a long lost friend who I went to drama school with. Always so lovely catching up with old friends and what a beautiful setting to catch up within too.
It is such a shock hearing the news and seeing the horrific images coming from Brussels. Thankfully my friend is safe but of course very shaken up! In light of the events I want people to read my blog, look at the pictures of the beautiful city and to remember how beautiful the city is. It does make it all the more sad having these people harmed and their city ruined by evil but I want you to read this and to reflect on the sadness but please do not let it put you off visiting this place. It is a beautiful country and should be seen as exactly that and shouldn’t be tarnished by the evil !
Stay safe people and share the love ❤ xxx