Oh Brussels. What a weird and not very nice place. I mean I really liked it visually and exploring all the little alley streets and such, but the people....the people were the rudest most unfriendly/unhappy people I have ever encountered anywhere. And it was everyone. People waiting on us in restaurants, in stores, on the streets, everyone. It was so strange. I would have loved the city if not for the people. I just don't get it. Gent was more Dutch, everything was written in Dutch and such, but Brussels is very French. Everyone speaks French, everything is written in French, it is just French. Which is odd in and of itself to be in the same country but go from one language to a very different one. Anyways so I know French people are supposed to be kind of rude and stuff, but we have never really had any issues while in France. Yes they are not always happy, but we only really had one guy be rude to us in Cannes and everyone else was alright. It still blows me away thinking about these people in Brussels. The worst was when we went in a grocery store (I like going in grocery stores to see what they have in different places. Plus we were looking for treats to bring back with us). So in the grocery store people are literally elbowing people out of their way. I was like what is this? It is not like the shelves are bare and there is no food left...so then I am standing in the one aisle standing close to the one side looking at some things. I hear this lady walking towards me quickly and figure she will either stop or go around me. Next thing I know she runs right into me knocking me over. I still cannot believe it. I have never experienced anything like this grocery store. It was crazy. And that is how everyone in the city was. I don't know how anyone can live there. Oh well. We had less than 24 hours there so it was fine.
Okay so we left Gent in the evening on a Sunday and took the train to Brussels. We got in and it was raining quite a bit so we just headed to our hotel which was fun. It was raining pretty good so we just stayed at our hotel once we got there. The photo above is from our room window - the grand palace. It rotated through a few different colors.
Views from the top room in the hotel the following day. Everything is so dense. All the buildings are just crammed together with these little alley like streets that are all squiggly and curved and are not in any sort of grid pattern at all (so it is easy to go in circles). I loved it. If the people would have been nicer it would be one of my favorite cities. I thought it was beautiful and I loved all the little streets and such. I think it is prettier than Paris.
We only had like 5 hours to explore the city so we didn't wander that far out, but we did pick up this little map from the hotel which had a few places marked on it so we wandered around to see all of them. We started with the Grand Palace and the Bourse since they were right next to the hotel.
Apparently they really like comics in Brussels and you could find all of these cartoons on buildings. There was a flier in the hotel about the comic book tour of Brussels so apparently it is a thing. I liked just happening upon the art down odd side streets.
Manneke Pis. This was listed on our map and when we got there there were lots of people taking photos and I am not sure why it is popular. I mean it is tiny and in a weird place not really by anything else...I don't know I just looked it up on wikipedia and it still doesn't make sense to me, though apparently the original was repeatedly stolen so it is now in a museum and this is a replica.
Outside of St Katelijne, which was under construction. People made these trees from some of the excess wood which I enjoyed.
Crazy fountains. It looks like it is in pain. Why would you make a fountain like that?
It was misty all morning, and there is this one street that is covered with lots of fancy shops inside so we wandered through.
Michael and Gudula Cathedral. This was kind of up on a hill, though and you could see out over some of the city.
It was nice inside, and had another modern art exhibit which I still find strange. Apparently it is a thing though so...
It was misting all morning, then right when we were trying to find some lunch it started pouring! We hid under an overhang and waited for it to let up some, which thankfully did not take that long. Then it cleared up a bit for the rest of the afternoon which was nice.
After lunch while wandering we had a sitzen and watched them try and tear this building down for a bit. It was fun as it was like a monster eating the building! Monsters! Or maybe that is what I pretended...either way fun!
The Palace of Justice. This had a nice view as it was up on a hill and you could see out over the city. Two photos up you can see the Atonium which we did not make it out to (Mini-Europe is also out there and man did that look like fun! All of your favorite landmarks on a 1 to 25 scale! No need to travel Europe, just stop at mini-Europe and see it all! I told Raymond about it and was just like man! We could see all of these fun things, and Raymond said he saw mini Europe from the air). The last photo - that guy was doing a photo shoot and I enjoyed watching him. It was quite windy and he almost lost his hat a few times.
I hate when my blue sheep tries to run away. I mean they are tricky, so it is good they have him locked up!
Notre Dame du Sablon and the park across the street from it. The park was gorgeous!
And that was our tour of Brussels. I loved the city, but not the people so I don't know that we will be in a hurry to go back and visit again. It really is a shame as it could be an amazing city, one of my favorites, but instead it is somewhere I don't really want to go. Oh well, we still had fun.