Friday, July 22, 2011

Brussels Sans Mussels

Since we could easily take the Chunnel to London from Brussels it was the logical place for us to end our Belgium tour. Brussels wasn't our favorite city in Belgium but we enjoyed what it had to offer. 
We didn't eat anymore mussels, but we did eat some other Belgium staple foods like chocolate and waffles.

Our B&B (Leopold II) was just steps from this church. You know you are in Europe when you walk around the corner and happen upon such beautiful architecture.

Walking around Brussels you wouldn't realize that the city was founded in 979 until you find, amongst modern buildings and apartments, remains of an ancient tower.

The Grand Place is the central square in Brussels. The buildings surrounding the square were all built at different times depending on Brussels finances and what seemed important in that century. It started as a open air market in the 11th century and by the 15th century it housed city hall.

Crowds gathered to watch this game in the middle of Grand Place. I am not sure what the name of the game is but it was taken very seriously by the men in jumpsuits.

Brussels is very proud of their 'Manneken Pis', the statue of a little boy peeing, which was created in 1618. There are many different legends about this statue but regardless of the legend you may have heard they all end the same way- a little boy pees on something and saves the day. 

Chocolate in Belgium is different from the states. It is a delicacy, and can be very expensive. The shop above looks like a ritzy jewelry shop but it is actually a chocolatier. I would not be surprised if they had a body guard out front. In my opinion I did not think the chocolate in Belgium was better than any other chocolate I have had (See's, Australian, Lindt). Maybe my palate is not refined.

I was so excited about getting a Belgian waffle (just called a waffle in Belgium) and I have to say I was a disapointed. Dutch pancakes are WAY better.

Fred and I said goodbye to Brussels, and the euro, and took the Chunnel to London.
We just barely made it in time! We didn't realize that we were going to have to go through security and a U.K. border checkpoint. It was more similar to flying than taking a train. Thankfully we gave ourselves just enough time and enjoyed the Channel Tunnel (Chunnel) to Britain. 
The Chunnel is the longest underwater tunnel in the world; 23.5 miles long, 790 feet below sea level.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! There is so much I want to say. First off, love the photo of Fred and the statue! Well done.

    Also about Manneken-Pis, weren't you surprised at how small it was? They put him in costumes too. I was there in August and they had him in a Caesar outfit. WEIRD.

    I think your food assessment might be off because of your cold. What do you think? However, I have had people say the same thing about Brussels as a city. It's a 'must see once' city.

    Was the Chunnel scary? I think I'd freak a bit being so far under water. BUT how fun.


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