We had a night in Brussels when we arrived in Belgium, but this day we woke up to spend a full 24 hours getting to know the city. After the previous day of traveling to Bruge and Ghent, the prospect of roaming around just outside our Airbnb was pretty welcoming.
This city felt amazing. I will admit that much of its appeal at that point was that I’d never been in a city that seemed so exciting. Between the square and the view out our airbnb window…
…this was unlike any other city I’d been to. But by the time we left Europe, as I mentioned in a previous post, these types of cities seemed to be the norm among well-known European cities. Sadly, the old look and feel of most we visited were typically rebuilt after the war (except for most of Prague!) so after learning that, it felt a bit fabricated. Enjoyable, nonetheless!
Our favorite part of Brussels was the comic strip route. The murals among this city are of comics, and if you head to the visitor center a book of murals can be purchased for a super affordable rate. The quality of the book is surprising for such a small price. One could spend an entire day roaming around, searching for their favorite murals. The book includes a picture of the mural accompanied by the artist’s ambition for creating it. This tour was perfect for us; we loved the hours we spent wandering the streets searching for murals we found appealing.
Clearly these murals fit in within the city. They’re painted in such a way that they either blend in, or create just the right pop of color and personality for the area in which they’re stationed.
Another feature of Brussels is, of course, the beer. We found that we could order bottles (yes, bottles – Belgian beer is mostly bottled and not on tap!) that were typical bottles, or that certain ones would come in unique packaging including horns and baskets:
The beer being served in the basket was at an outdoor restaurant with bikes on the wall – Poechenellekelder:
This is the view of Poechenellekelder from where we were seated. And just across the way the opposite direction was the peeing baby! We didn’t care to take a picture of it (just google him and you’ll see all you’ll ever need to see of this thing) but we watched as large crowds came and went. This was a memorable afternoon: after viewing a ton of art on walls, we sat and enjoyed what we meant to be one, but turned into two beers and ate a snack as we enjoyed warm weather, amazing beer, and conversations highlighted in different accents around us.
That’s what Brussels is to us: opportunity after opportunity to experience new drinks, streets, art, culture, food, etc. Busy and full of people from all over, but with enough space and open arms for us all.
The next day we left after enjoying a quick breakfast, walk to the station, and a few more murals and hanging bikes on the way out. On our way to Amsterdam…