Brussels was our final destination on the trip. We had been in and out of Brussels all week staying with our friend, Jodi, between city visits. It was so nice to have a home base to return to during the trip and to get to meet lots of Jodi's friends throughout the week. Jodi was a wonderful host and pointed us in the direction of many great spots to visit.
The view from her apartment's terrace.
On Sunday afternoon, we headed out to Place Flagey for pommes frites. These thick cut fries are double fried and served with your choice of condiments...Jon went with the traditional mayo and I ordered cocktail sauce which turned out to be tartar sauce. A really delicious treat served with fun mini forks.
Then, Jodi and her friend, Israel, got oysters and champagne from a street vendor. After Israel showed us how to properly eat an oyster, we all tried one.
I'm pretty sure that will be the last oyster that I eat.
Jon's reaction: "It tastes just like the ocean"
After the oysters and champagne, we walked around Brussels and saw some of the many art deco homes in the city.
Then we tried our first taste of Belgian beer at a café. Jon and I both really like the beer, probably because it was a deliciously sweet lambic brew. Jon's was made with cherries and mine was made with raspberries. It tasted more like sparkling juice than beer, which is probably why we enjoyed it so much.
Well, Jon enjoyed it a little bit too much...he was feeling the effects pretty quickly and provided quite the entertainment as we asked him questions and he had a 4-5 second delay in answering. (We can blame the lack of sleep on the train ride for that, too!)
On Sunday night, we visited the Atomium, the installation originally intended for the 1958 Brussels World's Fair. One day, the Atomium will give the Eiffel Tower a run for it's money (or not).
Then we headed back to the Grand Place for more waffles...
One of many waffles consumed last week! We went with the traditional gaufres de liege, soft inside, crunchy outside with a thin sugary glaze. Yummy!
(And in case you're thinking, "what exactly did they eat on Sunday?"...I'll tell you: We each ate one marzipan croissant for breakfast in the Cologne train station, one large pommes frites, one glass of champagne, one oyster, one glass of lambic beer, and one waffle. Our stomachs were in uproar that day!)
And then, we saw Brussels' beloved Manneken Pis for the first time. After hearing all the hype about this statue, I though he would be a lot bigger than he was. Some of the molded candy and chocolate in the store windows were even bigger than the statue. I'm guessing he was less than two feet tall. Lots of different groups like to dress him up in costumes and there's even a museum filled with past outfits he's worn.
Jon and I spent Monday, the last day of the trip, leisurely exploring the city on our own and stocking up on Belgian chocolate. We had seen most of the sites during our evening explorations of the city with Jodi, but we wanted to check out everything during the day.
Getting lost on the way to meeting Jodi for lunch resulted in discovering this lovely mural.
Royal Palace of Brussels
Artist Gu Wenda's lantern installation on the Mont des Artes
Église Notre Dame du Sablon
The Grand Place
Check out the rest of the Brussels photos on flickr, here.
Thanks for following along on all of these trip recap posts!