I was a bit unsure about Brussels when I first arrived. The area in which the hostel is located is not the most beautiful part of town, but the walking tour I went on yesterday (through Sandemans New Europe) changed that quickly. The tour started in the main square of the city, which was surrounded by beautiful buildings. We soon learnt that these were the former guild halls. One of the finest looking guild halls was, of course, the brewers guild. Back in the day, water was unsafe to drink. So what did people do? Drink beer. Apparently Brussels has quite an association with comics? I was unaware of this, but I did appreciate this Tin Tin artwork! And this, is the most prized statue in Brussels. A creepy looking peeing baby. What? This opera house allegedly showed a play that later inspired the people of Brussels to start a revolution to gain their independence. I was unaware of the rich history of this play, as a neutral territory and a place divided between religions and language. Brussels prides itself on it’s vast variety of beers. Had I been here longer, I would have loved to learn more about all the different types. I think I’ll have to make a return trip here with Chris! The cobblestone streets in Europe are quite beautiful, if not sometimes lethal! After the tour, myself and an American I befriended went to a traditional Belgian restaurant, and I enjoyed the most delicious Flemish stew (slow cooked beef in dark beer). It was amazing.
I took it pretty easy during the afternoon, then headed back out after dinner to indulge in another of Belgiums fine offerings: chocolate. I steered clear of the waffles, after finding out they literally have entire balls of sugar in them. Yes, that appears to be the peeing baby statue turned into a gangster. Brussels was a lot more beautiful in some areas then I imagined. I will certainly be back, though maybe to Bruge, a nearby town that is far more historic. Hey, as long as they still have Belgian beer and chocolate, I’ll be happy!
Today, I am off to Amsterdam!
Hoping all is well in Aussie-land. – Reanna.