Belgium
Grand Place

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45 travelers at this place

  • Day16

    Brussels part 1

    August 20, 2019 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    So we arrived Brussels after an easy journey from Amsterdam, but it was quite tricky to find our air BnB. Once we had, we wished we hadn't bothered. It was truly scuzzy ... Feelings about it not helped by the police incident going on at the top of the road! 5 minutes with Google and a hotel was booked, and it's just fabulous. Named Hotel Mozart, but we're sure it used to be Hotel Morocco or similar - it's so ornate. And within 2 minutes of starting our exploration of the area, we fell into the Grand Place. Had a curry for dinner and just cosied down on our private balcony and in our beautiful room!Read more

  • Day17

    Brussels part 2

    August 21, 2019 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Covered a lot of ground and got very hot today. Found the Mannekin Pis, then metroed to Atomium. I was very brave ... And it was interesting and worth the effort, in spite of the queues. Also included in ticket price was Adam, the Design Museum, full of plastic furniture etc. from last 60 years. Lots of very cool pieces. Fell into bed on return, and fortunately revived sufficiently to order takeaway to eat on our balcony and watch some of Independence Day. Finally I went out alone to join the crowds in the Grand Place by night- magic! Yet our hotel is really quiet. Perfect.Read more

  • Day18

    Last day in Brussels

    August 22, 2019 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Another fantastic day in this amazing city - I had no idea it was so grand. Stumbled upon the phenomenal Courts of Justice up a street lift and bridge whilst looking for the Royal Palace and Parc de Bruxelles. Popped into the parc but it was disappointing, apart from the ice cream opportunity it afforded. Palace, however, was fabulous- free to go in, fabulously ornate, and with a couple of temporary exhibitions; one reasonably interesting, about moon-related stuff, and the other a completely brilliant collection of interactive science installations. We spent ages there! More impressive buildings on the more direct route home. Lunch was Belgian waffles ... Dinner was back to the same place for meatballs, spaghetti, omelette and salad.Read more

  • Mar24

    Brussels

    March 24, 2019 in Belgium ⋅ ☀️ 9 °C

    First let me mention my means of travel to Brussels from London. I opted for a FlixBus because, although long, cheaper than the last minute train ticket. It was packed, and hard to find (I had to flag it down myself, nearly missing it, but this is a normal occurrence for me), but it was a very cool experience. Geographically-challenged-me didn't even think about how a bus would get to the other side of the English Channel. Answer? They put the bus INSIDE of a bus-sized train car. Claustrophobia-enducing for some I would think, but very cool to me! You're under the water for a while, being propelled through water inside of a bus, inside of a train car. A friend of mine noted "it's like the turducken" of travel. Blew my mind.

    My stay in Brussels was lovely. My actual "stay" was in a town called Landen, about 40 minutes east of Brussels. My hosts here were a friend of my sister's from college (who I haven't seen in 10+ years, but responded and welcomed me without hesitation when I reached out about visiting), and her husband. They both work for Médecins Sans Frontières out of Brussels (true heroes). They picked me up from the train station after a long day of unexpected work (on a Sunday) and took me immediately to "Manneken Pis." It's an incredibly small fountain, of an incredibly small naked boy, with an incredibly small penis. That's the whole thing, and I think it's generally understood as a joke. But they sure are proud of it! Very funny. I later found the sister fountain, "Janneke-Pis" (across from the popular Delirium bar - overrated, you can get both the beer and experience in America). And I actually found this version so ADORABLE and picture worthy. Maybe I could relate to her more?

    We got beers at a bar called Poechenellekelder, across from the fountain. It was a little kitschy but in just the right way for me! And they had an extensive beer selection that was almost entirely foreign to me, so my host Lily pointed me in the direction of some special German beers. One favorite was Orval, pictured here.

    The next two days I spent exploring the city by foot, as you do. I went to the Magritte museum (worth it), and the comic book museum (also worth it, to learn about the rich comic history in Belgium, but a very short trip). Mostly got a taste for some beautiful city views. The main plaza, Grand-Place was a nice landmark and spot to stop and relax. As far as food goes - the pommes frites were average to me, having enjoyed many pommes frites at home in NYC or in Germany that I thought topped the ones I had here. The waffles though, rocked. I learned that there are two kinds - gaufre de Bruxelles and gaufre de Liege. The Liege style is great! I preferred it. It's got pieces of sugar inside of the waffle itself and is less perfectly square than the Brussels style. So delicious.

    One of my favorite moments was stumbling upon an elevator on the street. I saw a couple of people head into it, and it seemed so arbitrarily placed in the middle of this quiet street, I assumed it had to be there for some good reason. I took it up to the top, where it opened to a small, short bridge to the plaza outside of an enormous beautiful old courthouse, with a monument in the center that I don't actually remember anything about because the view was so wonderful. There were people taking pictures all over, understandably so. Beautiful view I didn't know about ahead of time, which is the best kind!

    There is certainly. a lot to be done and seen in Brussels. I would have loved to take more advantage of the arts scene there, with a little more time and money at my disposal. But walking around and catching sight of the great comic street art scattered around the city is very cool. Nice juxtaposition of history, beauty, and modern art.
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  • Day20

    BRÜSSEL

    May 12, 2019 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 6 °C

    Gester simer z Brüssel acho u hei dr Hingerusgang verwütscht. So, dassmer zersch aues negative gseh hei. Üsi Reis zum Hostel isch nid sehr agnähm gsi, wiu es ligt o so ire Sitegass. Am nächste Tag simer uf d Suechi nach dr Stadt gange, u hei doch no dr Chärn gfunge. D Lieblingsgass vode Touriste isch eidütig d Waffugass.

    Fazit: Si fahre kener Teslas meh.
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  • Day1

    Brussels

    July 11, 2019 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Once again we find ourselves starting a trip in mainland Europe as it works out cheaper by some margin. This trip’s city of choice is Brussels. We have 5 hours to burn between flights so we hop on the train into the city and whizz round a few sites - Grand Place (rather congested due to a music festival), the Mannekin Pis (very small) and the Royal Palace. Then it’s time for lunch and back to the airport for a flight to London and back to KL.Read more

  • Day170

    Day 171: Exploring Brussels

    August 4, 2017 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Another busy day, this time exploring the World Heritage sites in Brussels! Up and out fairly early, as we wanted to check out La Grand-Place, the main central square in the old town before it filled up with tourists.

    So we walked into town, stopping en route at the Manneken-Pis, the fountain statue of a little boy pissing that is inexplicably famous. I know most people are surprised at how small the Mona Lisa is, but this is another thing entirely - it's actually about the size of a garden gnome. I really have no idea why it's famous, since phallic/crude fountain sculptures aren't exactly uncommon in Europe.

    Anyway. We made it to the Grand Place around 9:30am, which was fairly early but not quite early enough as quite a few people were around already. Particularly people running free walking tours, with their giant colourful umbrellas. Could be worse I guess, could be surrounded by cruise ship passengers!

    The Grand Place is the old market square of Brussels, and is a WHS in its own right. The original market from the 11th century was burned down by French invaders in 1690, and over the next 10 years architects and tradesmen rebuilt the buildings in grand style. Because the entire project was being overseen by the city's aldermen, the buildings are all very complementary, and because the merchant guilds were all competing to build the nicest facades, they're all very impressive too.

    But as nice as it is, it's ultimately just a large town square. We filmed each of the four directions, said some words, picked out some nice details and then headed on.

    Next up we hopped on a tram to the rich north-east of Brussels to visit another world heritage site: Stoclet Palace. This is a large semi-art deco mansion building on the outskirts of Brussels, constructed in the 1910s. Money was no object for the financier, a wealthy banker and art collector, so it was constructed in the most lavish styles and with exquisite finishings inside. Of course, it's still in private hands (the same family no less), so we just filmed it from the outside. Back on the tram!

    Hopped off the tram, heading towards the Horta Museum we'd seen the outside of yesterday, and stumbled across the headquarters of the European Commission. Couldn't go inside, obviously, but interesting to see and take a few photographs of. This isn't the parliament building though, that's in a different part of the city.

    Grabbed some lunch and then headed to the Museum. I wasn't feeling particularly up for it, but I'm really glad we went as it was fantastic. The house was furnished basically as Horta had left it in the 1930s, and it looked fantastic. Obviously the art nouveau style looks quite dated now, but it really inspired feelings of the belle epoque and the optimism of the early 20th century. Spent a couple of hours in here, though sadly no photos permitted.

    Back to the hotel fairly early where we spent some time editing videos and entertaining a lonely dog! Ate dinner out on the terrace of a nice local restaurant, still no rain today though very overcast sadly! Had a very delicious Belgian beef stew - very thick gravy made with dark beer, yum.
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  • Day10

    Quick Stop in Brussels

    September 13, 2019 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    On our train to Amsterdam, we stopped by in Brussels for a few hours.

  • Day18

    Happy Meyboom!

    August 9, 2017 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Today is the day of the Mayboom planting, a delightfully odd tradition born from a dispute over the taxation of beer in the 13th century. Each year, a parade of giants, marching bands, ceremonial soldiers, and a large birch tree make their way into the Grand Place with much pomp and ceremony. Afterwards, the tree is carried through the city until it is planted.

    I spent a good while figuring out when and where it actually started, and then decided to just get a good spot in the Grand place to watch the finale.

    The branches and leaves are distributed to the crowd and along the route, primarily to women and girls. Happy Meyboom :)
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Grand Place, Grote Markt, Groot Markplein van Brussel, الميدان الكبير, Гран-Плас, Гран Плас, Grande-Place v Bruselu, Grand-Place, Γκραν-Πλας, Granda Placo, Grand-Place de Bruxelles, Veliki trg u Bruxellesu, הכיכר הגדולה בבריסל, Grand Place u Bruxellesu, Գրան Պլաս, Grand Place di Bruxelles, グラン=プラス, გრან-პლასი, 그랑플라스, Gran Plasas, Wielki Plac w Brukseli, Grand-Place de Bruxelas, Piața Mare din Bruxelles, กร็อง-ปลัส, 布鲁塞尔大广场

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