Sunday, April 20, 2008

Brussels, Belgium

On Friday the 11th of April, the Archer family decided that we'd had enough of Germany, and that we needed to see the sights in Belgium- that and we were running low on good beer. So we loaded up the Subaru and ventured the short way to heart of the European Union- Brussels.

What a beautiful city! What crazy drivers! Now if you've never driven in a large European city, you're in for a treat when you visit Brussels by car. Not only are the streets incredibly narrow, but there are little to no road markings. It's like running with the lemmings... you're all going somewhere, you have an idea of where, but most likely it's not going to end up the way you thought. Thankfully we have our trusty GPS. Not that she does a lot of good when a double Decker sightseeing bus is double parked in your lane, but she helps.

So we arrive at our hotel in the center of Brussels. A nice place with in walking distance to all the places you'd like to visit or take the tour bus to. We were able to comfortably walk around the city with a toddler and a stroller.

The first stop on our afternoon walking tour was of the Grand Place. Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful squares in Belgium, I now could see why. The Hôtel de Ville is a now the town hall for the city of Brussels; it is absolutely beautiful, and you can read more about it here:

The Grand Place was bustling with activity, and a weekly market was just coming to a close. There were all kinds of unusual sights to behold- did you know that the Belgians walk their children on leashes? What a great place!

Over the next few days we gorged ourselves on waffles right off the iron, chocolate goodness on every corner, and the main staple we were here to get: BEER! If you love beer as much as we do, this is the place to be. Every cafe has a different taste, and you will never get tired of trying them all. That is unless your toddler starts wanting to have a beer party instead of a tea party... but I digress.

There is just about everything that you could want to try here. And lots of sights, here are a few that we visited: Palais de Justice, Bourse (Stock Exchange), Market Place, King's House, The Town Hall ( Hôtel de Ville), The Guild houses, The Royal Palace, The Royal residence, The Heysel with the Atomium, the St. Hubert gallery (has fantastic chocolate!), and of course Manneken Pis (adorned in his karate outfit). To read about where we've been, check out this web page:

And now I'll leave you with a few parting shots!

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