Brussels has to my favorite city among the ones I visited during my Europe vacation. There are poems I could have written sitting on a pile of Autumn leaves and breathing in the sweet Belgian air. Yes, it’s true. The air was so extraordinarily wonderful that I could smell waffles a kilometer away. A tingling feeling of wonderfulness engulfed me with every breath.
A very dear friend of mine resides in Brussels and promised to take me around the city. So excited was she that I was visiting her city that she ended up taking a day off work on the weekday.
It was a 3-hour journey from Paris with Flixbus which costed me € 11. Brussels was the only city in my European Itinerary that I’d not planned for and it was for a good reason.
The first sight I noticed in Brussels was that there weren’t any people as I expected to be. It was like the whole city had been almost deserted with a virus outbreak. I took to sitting in the balcony of my hotel and hearing at what point the clickity-clack of a woman’s heels would die away. There were cars, but no honking. This was a city of profound beauty encompassed in silence. A city I’d dream of settling in with great beers playing a large motivator.
Started off the day with a bowl of steaming escargot. This was my first time I got to try snails which tasted fairly nice. It was the broth especially which was the game-changer, packing in a sea-food like flavor with a whole lot of fresh vegetables.
Being the city where the best comics like Tintin, Asterix etc have been developed, the city’s graffiti is comic-inspired too. It’s like you’ve been placed in a comic book and tasked with the job of going off on your own adventure.
We then headed to the city square where we bumped into a little guy peeing, whom everyone seemed to be interested in. Manneken Pis is the most famous little statue with a whole lot of stories revolving around it. The statue itself has a massive wardrobe collection changes several times a week.
The city’s square is magnificent with the Grand Palace and it’s opulent edifices. Right on the square you’d find comic book artists creating caricature versions of people, horse –drawn carriages and lot of activity. This is the most visited landmark in Brussels and the only place where I actually saw lot of people gathered in the city.
Right next to the Grand Palace is the sculpture of Everard t’Serclaes, rubbing whose hand is believed to bring luck. Legend has it that rubbing the hand will ensure a return to Brussels and bring good luck. This is one theory I didn’t mind believing in.
A visit to Belgium is incomplete without sitting down over a glass of Belgian Beers and we had a glass too many at Delirium. Officially crowned in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the largest collection of Beers in the world, you’re spoilt for choice with more than 2,000 variants. It was easily a couple of hours before we left Delirium for a late dinner only to be back at another pub for a few more drinks.
Right in the alley of Delirum Brewery is the statue of Jeanneke Pis, the female equivalent of the Manneken Pis although not as famous as it’s counterpart. The creepy smile by the girl doesn’t help it’s cause too.
Meals in Brussels were grandiose as I went crazy on the fresh produce. An entire bowl of Moules Frites which had mussels cooked in white wine with onions and celery and a side of Fries at Chez Leon. This was neatly polished clean in a few minutes. For brunch it was an order of Savory Waffles with smoked salmon and poached eggs at Peck 47. And of course all of my meals were accompanied with glasses of Belgian Beers.
Brussels blew me away and should be high on your list when doing a Europe Trip. It’s been one of the most exhilarating cities I had the chance to visit during my travels across the world.
For readers who’ve reached the end of my post on Brussels, here are some more fabulous pictures of the city. And of course, there are going to be loads of Beer photos.