Arriving from Brussels airport in a top end Mercedes made us feel very diplomatic indeed and the sight of the massive European Quarter buildings beside the old Flanders style buildings was quite a surprise. We did not waste too much time after we arrived and a short nap got us ready to start exploring.
Out in the streets there were people everywhere being a weekend and with the World Cup Soccer in full swing Belgium were on fire and playing the Quarter finals that night .The amazing Flemish architecture from the 15th to 19th centuries was in abundance and no more so than in the main old square Grand Place where the ubiquitous Town Hall stands out loud and proud. Today was festival day and the square was decked out in stands ready for the nights festivities so combined with the football it turned out to be a big night.
All around town are sensational arcades and chocolate shops by the ton so we wandered around taking in all the sights including hundreds of resturants before catching an Aussie busker doing …of course… “the land down under”. he was brilliant so we joined in as all good Aussies would do.
The streets are very grand and then right behind is the locals regular streets where normal life takes place in the small lanes and alleyways.
The galleries Royales stretches for two blocks and we enjoyed a lovely meal there on the first night before watching the game in our room and then heading out into the streets to celebrate the win and enjoy the Historical festival with the locals
The whole show was a mystery to us but we watched on the sidelines at a bar enjoying a very expensive Mjiot and taking in the stilt walkers and all the myriad of performers
Wandering the back streets through the Stalingrad and Salon neighbourhoods we came across some stunning buildings and great street art and then found our destination, the amazing Marolles Flea markets. Wow what a surprise and we spent plenty of time just wandering and taking it all in before buying a few glass pieces for keepsakes. On the way back to the centre we stopped in at the Brussels Park and enjoyed lunch in the medieval festival enclosure.
We then walked down to the Old England building to check out one of the Art Nouveau highlights of Brussels and to see the amazing Musical instrument museum.
The next day was our Art Nouveau day so we jumped on the Bus Touristic and headed off to the Chatelain area to visit the Musee Horta to see it’s unbelievable interiors and to take in a few more of the areas gems.
We had a fabulous asian lunch in the Chatelain area and then settled in for a quiet night after feeling filled to the brim from our lunch leftovers we bought back with us.
Our brief few days in Brussels was packed with fabulous sights, great food and good times, but it will be the sight of these massive meringues and the chocolate shops that will stick in the memory.