Belgium, 4th Stop: Brussels, the Why So Serious

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Brussels was my last stop, where I stayed for 2 nights, not really knowing what to expect from the capital of Belgium. When you think about Brussels, I believe that one of the first images coming to your head is politicians in suits and ties, shaking hands in yellow smiles, European Union, the Euro, the Commission. To be honest, this doesn’t even interests me that much. Seeing the buildings where great, smart and stupid decisions are taken in consideration was certainly part of my route, but it was far from being a priority. I knew Brussels was the home of Rene Magritte’s Museum and that was one of my priorities. And I also really wanted to eat waffles – I had been smelling them all around Belgium without trying – and Frites, the famous Belgian fries.

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Due to my view oriented to politics on Brussels, I had the idea of a serious, business, politic driven city, where you would feel sort of out of place. Well, I couldn’t be more wrong. The only place you feel the seriousness is really where the European area is. Apart from that, I found Brussels streets friendly, cheerful and spirited. There was amazing street art everywhere, which is sort of related with the well-known Belgian passion for comics (have you heard of Tin Tin?)

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I didn’t even know there was a particular Brussel sense of humor. The famous Manneken Pis – for the ones not recognizing this is the fountain with a toddler peeing – is apparently a result of that humor, and it seems that every single month is dressed in different costumes, many times in rather funny characters. For me, this fountain that is recognized as a symbol of Brussels was actually a big disappointment. So small, and the dress it had on wouldn’t even let me see the kid actually peeing. I mean, come on. Funny thing is that the Manneken Pis is for Brussels as Mona Lisa is for Paris. It is like a rock star, a big crowd of tourists were surrounding it, fighting for the selfie and a picture with no human head popping on it. I just wanted to laugh. All you need to do to achieve international fame: nakedness and peeing in public.

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Manneken Pis

I did had a lovely time in Brussels. The Grand Place is absolutely beautiful. I found all plazas in Belgium majestic. I would just look around in complete amazement. If you are a big fan of Surrealism, please do visit the Rene Magritte Museum. It is small, but has a unique collection of Magritte’s works.

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I got my waffle. First I had the plain one, but I couldn’t resist to try the extravagant version of the Belgian waffle. However, I must confess it was hard to decide.

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And I got a Mitraillette, a Belgian sandwich that is basically a caloric bomb. But it tasted so goooood… is basically a baguette with fries in it, sliced meat, onions and some sort of sauce. It was just like eating heaven, but I knew that path was a temptation from hell.

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La Mitraillette
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Fritland, where I got my Mitraillette

And this was my experience of Brussels. Hope you enjoyed my photos!

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Love,

Nic

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