An Afternoon in Brussels

We didn’t get along with Brussels too well. Maybe it was the fact that we were cold and tired, maybe it was that we only had 4 hours to spend to wander around, maybe we didn’t pick the right things to see, maybe it was that we really would have rather been heading back to our apartment in Paris, or maybe it was that we had just left two cities we loved: Bruges and Ghent, but whatever the reason, we felt Brussels was just so-so. I know, I know, you can’t judge a place by spending only a few hours there, but lets just say it wasn’t love at first sight. I would, however, like to go back again one day to give it a second chance. I would like to see the Atomium, look at some of the street art, see the United Nations headquarters and check out a few of the museums, but as unwarranted as it might be, a second visit to Brussels is not at the top of our list.

Even though we didn’t fall in love with the city and it sounds like we had a horrible time, we did, however, have some fun on our short stint there. Other than searching for pissing statues, we took time to visit the Grand Place, Delirium Cafe and a waffle shop.

Grand Place

The Grand Place is the center square of Brussels, and it is surrounded by many beautiful buildings, such as museums, restaurants, and the town hall. Also, every other August, the Grand Place is home to the ‘flower carpet’ made up of millions of begonias displayed in a pattern that looks like a carpet or rug.

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Delirium Cafe

Even though we really aren’t beer drinkers, what visit to Belgium would be complete without beer? The Delirium Cafe is known for its extensive beer list–they carry over 2,000 varieties, many of which are Belgian. One entrance to the cafe is down a narrow, dead-end alley, so I was surprised to see it is actually quite large inside. We enjoyed the atmosphere–it is dimly lit with many tables and alcoves throughout. In the afternoon, it was a perfect relaxing spot for a break; however, I’m sure it takes on quite a different feel in the evening.

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Like I said before, we were wandering around Brussels very tired, so it only made sense to take a break and stop for waffles, warmth and wifi. We found a nice little waffle shop near the most famous of the pissing statues. I don’t remember the name of the cafe, but I ordered a plain waffle with powdered sugar and Micah picked one with Nutella. They were good, but it was the break from the cold that was more important. I enjoyed the waffles in Ghent much more, probably because the liege waffles are to die for and I ordered just a traditional Belgian waffle at this shop. Oh well, now I know for next time…if there ever is a next time.

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Have you ever visited Brussels?  What were your thoughts?

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