My temporary addiction and the reason I am wearing cargo pants rather than jeans
Simply beautiful architecture
What did we do with detail?
A fresco down a laneway
There're lots of 'renovator's dreams' like this
Much has been said and written about Brussels, the Capital of Europe; that funny, bureaucratic, predominately French-speaking city stuck whack in the Flemish part of the country. I wasn’t expecting much, apart from possible riots, given recent news and perhaps being caught up in the dissolution of a nation.
I stayed here and booked it with wotif for around €65 a night, which was pretty cheap for somewhere near the centre. Given the price, I wasn’t expecting much in that way either but was pleasantly surprised. The room was a decent size but the bathroom, by European standards was huge. I have a big, big-bathroom fetish. The staff were also really helpful and friendly.
The train trip from the airport was about 15 minutes to Gare du Nord. I’d read the hotel was only a ten-minute walk from the station but, of course, I walked out the wrong door (I thought it was the right one at the time) and was besieged by a woman begging me for money. The usual, not-so-original someone stole her purse on the tram story.
Off I went in full confidence of knowing where I was, only to end up in a street that resembled a Turkish bazaar in Istanbul and actually in the complete opposite direction to where I should have been. Good grief. There was so many people I thought I’d never find my way out. And, it was an introduction to something else I didn’t know about Brussels – it’s a melting pot of races and nationalities.
Finally, desperate to get to the hotel before my bladder exploded I back tracked to the station and asked some police where I was. They were very helpful and studied the map rather excitedly, arguing about which way I should go.
Eventually, I arrived.
I won’t bore you with an epistle about tourist attractions. Suffice to say there are very many beautiful buildings in Brussels and not just the Grande Place. The food in my experience was really delicious and it’s fascinating watching the diversity of the people.
The only down side is that there are lot of beggar/dodgy types, which I have to say put me off a bit and I can’t see how this still happens in such wealthy countries. It’s rather depressing. There’re also continuous warnings about pickpockets on the metro, although I had no trouble at all.
6 months ago