highlights of brussels

All through trip planning, Belgium kept coming up as our most looked-forward to spot of our upcoming three and a half week tour of Europe. Why? The beer. Definitely the beer. And we were not disappointed. But there was so much more to Belgium, and although we talk about going back, I feel like we did a great job hitting so many amazing sights.

One of the best parts of our trip was our lodging location: we stayed at an airbnb just down the road from the square in Brussels! So close to the square, in fact, that with just a head pop out the window, a partial view of the square was visible from our little apartment.

The view from our bed – such a lovely breeze, made lovelier by the buzz of tourists walking around, enjoying the city.

We were pretty lax in controlling our jet lag. When we got tired in afternoons, usually after traveling from one place of lodging to another, we gave ourselves the luxury of taking naps. One strange piece of Europe is that there aren’t screens on the windows (and there aren’t air conditioners in the windows either)! So, we had lots of open windows with lovely breezes and the chances of birds flying in. (Fortunately we didn’t have that problem.) The worst of our problem here was with flies, but I got most of ’em with an Airbnb magazine.

Once we woke up and planned our night, we headed straight for a bar but passed the square first! I had NEVER seen a place like it! As we ventured to the other cities it became apparent that city squares such as this one in Brussels are common, but my first view gave me such a feeling of awe.

The square!

After sitting and staring awestruck at the city square, we walked through the streets that veer off of each corner. Another quirk of European cities is that the streets aren’t all parallel/perpendicular; you walk down a street and it curves to the side (as do the buildings), providing endlessly stunning views.

We found this place – Toone (6 Impasse Schuddevelde) – attached to a little Puppet Theatre! Everything from inside to out was obviously photo-worthy. And I drank the strangest beer of the whole trip, Chapeau Banana Lambic. Sour and banana-y – it’s delicious! We sat and drank while admiring the decor – puppets hanging around the place with dark wooden tables, chairs, floors, etc. And exposed brick. Lots of that. We loved the old feeling – felt kind of like pirates!

Something amazing about cities in Europe is that your activities for the day could include ONLY walking, and the day is amazing. This is what we had on our plan for that night – just walking around – and we got to see so much beauty. (And we tried frites! So good.)

Here are some highlights from that night’s walk:

The next day we had planned for Bruge and Ghent (we did it in one shot to save a bit of time and the price of an additional train ticket); absolutely stunning places, so stay tuned for our next post!

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