My previous visits to Belgium have been sadly confined to the city of Brussels, and this trip with Bo was no exception. On our train ride over from Luxembourg, my dad and I decided to allot only a few hours to see the city. I wanted to make those hours count. Naturally, I plotted out a beeline to Grand Place public square.
Brussels’ Grand Place plaza was by far the most memorable city sight from my first ever trip to Europe at the end of the 90s. I’ve flown all over Europe dozens of times since then, but this particular place is second only to Prague in my book (not counting the Swiss Alps, the Greek islands, or any of the countless European countryside routes that I’ve explored).
I have yet to see a photo of Grand Place that does justice to the panorama of preserved, ornate buildings that date as far back as the 15th century, engulfing the public square’s visitors as they approach from one of six entrance alleys.
Bo and I capped off our visit with a light lunch at Grand Place’s Restaurant La Rose Blanche Brasserie: Twin of shrimp, cheese croquettes, and French onion soup. Although I prefer rural settings, I can’t imagine a more mesmerizing city view from the ground level of any outdoor café.
After walking around the city for a while, I convinced Bo to follow me on a short detour to Brussels’ most iconic tourist attraction. Friends, I apologize for this picture in advance…
Brussels’ famous Manneken Pis (go ahead, sound it out), for all of its hype, is just a 16th century bronze statue of a boy taking a whiz into a fountain.
Tasteless? Most definitely. Worth the hoopla? I’ll leave that to the eye of the beholder.
Next stop: Amsterdam, the Netherlands!