Brussels, Belgium - MMM…Chocolate… - May 17-20th, 2014
Above and Below: This is the famous Manniken Pis near the Grand Place in Brussels! It is a statue of a little boy peeing in the fountain. It is actually quite funny! The little guy even has over 80 outfits that they dress him up in! The first one is from the day I arrived in Brussels and is the first sight I had of the city! The one below was my last picture of the city where he was sporting a new football kit! It is a very cute and unique landmark in the city!
Above and Below: This is the Waffle Factory - it is the best little restaurant you could imagine in all of Brussels. It is absolutely fantastic. The first day in Brussels I had a nutella Brussels waffle and the last day I had a chocolate and strawberry waffle. It was probably a heart attack on a plate but it was worth every bite!
Below and to the right: The Royal St. Hubert Galleries are the old luxury shopping galleries in Brussels. It is absolutely stunning and so beautiful! They have some very high class stores and shops, and even the best chocolatiers!
Below: Pretty views from the Hop On Hop Off (HOHO) bus!
Below and to the right: The Atomium is a huge major landmark of Brussels. It is a very glorified and enlarged atom with eight different pods. They all represent something different! It is a very unusual yet appealing tourist attraction. It is a bit out of the city centre but well worth the visit! I even got to go up it. You travel by lift, through the middle, from first floor to the top to experience the panoramic views the Atomium offers! You can see the entire city of Brussels and even in the distance, kilometres away, other Belgian cities and even potentially other countries! It was well worth the experience. After you go right to the top, you are brought down colourful escalators to each of the pods to see something different. One pod has the making of the Atomium while another would have funky furniture used in the Atomium, etc. Such a cool attraction!
Above and Below: This is the big Cathedral in Brussels. I seen in on the HOHO bus. It was a beautiful day and so sunny! The building itself was very stunning and a true marvel of beauty!
Below and to the right: This is the Chocolate and Coco Museum of Brussels! Must I say more? LOL. It was very difficult to find on my first day, especially with my bag on my back! So I figured I would wait until the second or third day in Brussels to find it when I was able to look at the map back at the hostel rather than in the middle of the street looking like I was in the middle of no where lost. That makes you a target. Anyway, the last day I was in Belgium, the day before my train back to London, I finally found it and was sure glad I did! They had a huge museum covering three floors with dresses and statues made out of chocolate! They had samples of all various types throughout the museum! There was even a demonstration of how they made their figures, pralines, and such! Of course, that also had samples. By the time I left here, I had eaten about 20 chocolates! And I have no remorse about it!
Above and Below: Walking around the streets of Brussels!
Above: This is the Royal Palace in Brussels. This is out of the city centre and not the same as the one that is in the city centre. That one is symbolic but this one is actually where the Royal Family lives! Behind those golden gates is the most beautiful looking palace.
Below: One of the lovely statues in a cute park while riding around on the HOHO bus tour!
Above and Below: The streets of Brussels!
Above: Pretty park in Brussels!
Below: One of the most beautiful sights and monuments seen in Brussels! It is a huge monument, near the European Parliament. It boasts a Belgian flag and fountains! So stunning!
Above: Cartoon artwork around Brussels!
Below: Architecture in one of the little squares I walked through!
Below and to the left: The Grand Place is the centre of Brussels. It boasts the most beautiful architecture the city has to offer! It is the symbolic area where the royal family sometimes visits. It is filled with noise and atmosphere. You can really tell a lot about the culture with outdoor cafes and bars, chocolate shops at every turn, and just so much going on! It is unreal and stunning at every turn. This is one of my most beautiful squares I have ever seen in all of my travels!
Above and Below: Some Belgium pride around the streets of Brussels - It is always a joy to take pictures of the flags in the various cities/countries. It is always a reminder of where I am and how my dreams are coming true by exploring the world!
Below and to the left: Brussels is the comic book centre of Belgium as the creators of the famous TinTin comic character and the Smurfs characters were from Belgium! I was fortunate enough to spend my first afternoon in Brussels walking around the comic book museum to see the statutes and original comic book papers, deigns, outlines, etc. of various comic artists from the country! There was even a mini cinema that told the story of how the comic book characters are drawn, made and how the scenes are all put together. It was a one of the kind museum and even had other comic books from other parts of Europe! It was a inner child afternoon and was loads of fun, and of course ever so interesting!
Below and to the left: There is a little theme/attraction park in Brussels, by the Atomium, called Mini Europe. Here there are various stations that are miniature scaled down versions of the most famous landmarks in each European country! Here you can literally travel around Europe in one single afternoon! At first I was a bit hesitant thinking it was maybe just for kids, but sure enough there were many people older than me in the line so of course, I couldn't resist! It turned out to be insanely amazing! The landmarks were just the the real things - only smaller! It was even more fun to see the landmarks from the countries I have already been to. Seeing them really made me think of all the places I have been to and exactly how many countries I have had the privilege of visiting! So here you go - taking a tour around Europe!
Above and Below: On the streets of Brussels!
Above and Below: It was always a good time for a waffle break in Belgium! LOL.
Above: Apparently, as heard on the commentary on my HOHO bus tour, this is the most famous Brussels hotel which has appeared in many films and rented out by many famous people!
Below: A stunning cathedral found in Brussels!
Above and Below: More views of the stunning Cathedral!
Above: The Stock Exchange in Brussels!
Below: The huge architecture around the streets are amazing!
Above: Sights from the HOHO bus tour!
Below: The house that once belonged to Herge. He was the comic book author of TinTin and once lived here. He is from Brussels!
Below and to the left: On my visit to Brussels, on my last day, I had the privilege of visiting the European Parliament and Commission area of the city. I spent all afternoon in the Parliamentarium. This is a visitor's building attached to Parliament. As a political science major, it was beyond amazing! I have spent countless hours in my classes back home talking about European Parliament and how the whole world is influenced by it. We have talked about the processes and such of the EU. And now, I was here! In the Parliamentarium there are several interactive stations that teach you about how it all works. There are posters and displays outlining how it all works, when the countries each joined, and how laws are made and discussed. In fact, there is even a simulation area to put yourself in the shoes of each member country. In one room there is a whole interactive floor. The tile is a huge map and you use pods to tell how each country around Europe interacts in the whole EU. It was a remarkable place and well worth a visit!