Grand Place stroll
We arrived by train from Amsterdam, almost by sunset, and the first thing we wanted to visit was the famous Flower Carpet at the Grand Place. I wanted to grab some rays of sun to capture the gorgeous huge natural carpet in the middle of the square. It was the last day!
On the way from the hotel to the square, we passed by various interesting spots. Gardens, cafes, government buildings, museums and even a summer festival that was going on with live music and vendors everywhere.
It took us a while to get to the main square in the city, but we did it! It was amazingly beautiful! The carpet made with begonias, making a different design every 2 years (I visited in 2012), takes almost the whole space in the square, a huge square! A lot of people trying to take a look at the flowers and the design of the year, which makes it difficult to see it perfectly. However, you can visit the Town Hall for a better view from above.
From the Grand Place we walked around the area and had a fast dinner with some local beers at one of the many bars nearby. Beers? Yes, Belgium has more than 100 local beers… maybe more! So, I guess we needed more than few days in Belgium!
Icons in Brussels
We took a cab to visit the famous monument in the country, The Atomium. Huge monument and a different thing to see during a trip. It was originally built for Expo ’58, the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair and still remains a futuristic icon. And you get to use the fastest elevator in the world to get to the top of The Atomium. (In AT29’s video you get to see the elevator)
I love getting to see the city I visit from a highest point, whats’s not to like? However, the view from the highest point at The Atomium wasn’t the best. It was a nice experience though, but since The Atomium is located far from the city center, you can’t appreciate the view very well. But it was nice experience going up few floors on a ‘building’ built more than 50 years ago you also get to see a temporary exposition (while I visited it was all about saving water and I’m so pro that) and the permanent exposition, which it was all about the making of the structure and the Expo ’58. By the way, Venezuela was part of it along with Mexico, USA and Brazil (talking about American’s countries) yei!
We bought a ‘combo ticket’ so we could visit Mini-Europe as well. From The Atomium we walked to Mini-Europe. Although it is only 5 minutes walk, we didn’t know exactly where the entrance was – Me getting lost? That never happens… (right! read my other posts) – They had lots of signs around but non of them says ‘Mini-Europe’. So I asked a guy I saw walking by with his family, I thought it was funny because, first I asked if he spoke English, he said no, so I figured, he spoke French, I asked him again in my weak French and he seemed lost, still, he called his little girls who, apparently knew a little English, but they were confused too, she asked me if I speak German… Eh… That’s one I don’t speak… I guess in Europe you need to speak more languages :)… I’ll take German classes after I get better with French and Portuguese (hopefully soon)
We finally arrived to the small park showing every important structure or area of every country that belongs to the Euro Union. We were trying to get to know lot of cities in Europe in 22 days while in here you can see them in few hours… of course, not the same feeling.
I wanted to visit the Comic museum, since it is very famous, but because I didn’t read before, on Mondays they close 🙁 So now you know.
Back at the Grand Place, now without the Flower Carpet, we strolled by the area and nearby streets until we reached the other famous icon in Brussels, Petit Julien or better known as Menneken Pis. A little, very little actually, kid ‘peeing’ that was designed by Jerome Duquesnoy and put in the place in 1618 or 1619. Still peeing…. Actually, I believe, the first one was made of wood.
Beautiful city, lots of things to see, with more time than me, I need to go back to get to try more beers and see more of the little details -as the museums- I didn’t get to see. And more beers!
Remember to keep the city clean 🙂
You can enjoy AT29’s video here.