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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Europe Trip- Brussels; Belgium | Land of chocolates, waffles, fries and beer

14th November 2014

A train ride to Brussels was seamless and comfortable. We had a nap during the train ride to Brussels.
The land of chocolates, waffles, fries and beer had welcomed us with a couples kissing each other during our arrival at the station.The Europe trip I embarked would be incomplete without the experience of taking Eurostar.



Some brief facts before continuing with my journey in Brussels:


Brussels, the capital of Belgium which hosts many organizations and it's the capital of European Union Commission. Brussels is situated on the coast between France and the Netherlands. Brussels is famous for over 700 varieties of beers, waffles with different kind of toppings, chocolates, The Smurfs and Tin Tin, and Mini-Europe.

It wasn't a good choice to come to Europe during Autumn season as it was cold and often have downpours. Anyway, our journey onto the Brussels was still remarkable with the famous landmarks we had gone to during this short five hours tour.

1. Town Hall

The tall Gothic tower which could be seen from far. It was built in 13th century and it was one part of the Grand Place.



In front of one of the monuments seen in Brussels



2. Grand Place

The Grand Place is a square containing the town hall and Guild Halls i.e. buildings that belong to various business associations of different trades. Grand Place is well known as UNESCO World Heritage Site. The creativity of the architecture and ornate baroque were really amazing. Hence, it was not a surprise to know that Grand Place had reputed as one of the most beautiful in Europe because the city was survived from the bombs during the 2nd World War. We took a stroll to the beautiful Grand Place and surprised with the market square surrounded by gold-gilded gables. The photography session had us gone missing and luckily the tour guide came to find us.





3. Chocolate Shops

You can see many chocolate shops such as Leonidas, Neuhaus, Guylian, Godviva and much more. We went passed La Belgique Gourmande Shop and finally stopped at Chocolaterie Manneken-Pis. The tour guide mentioned that it's one of the very famous store offering various kinds of chocolates, confectionery, beers, candies and etcetera.



The signature Manneken Pis look-like chocolate had been seen here. The group  had bought over 88 pieces chocolates on a great deal in which each piece of chocolate costed Euro 2.20. 


The photo of myself standing at the street of Brussels.

4. Manneken Pis

We heard numerous people say " what a small statue" whilst stood beneath the Manneken Pis, a tiny bronze statue of a little boy peeing into the fountain. Awww.. I never expect the size of the statue was so small. According to the website, the little boy statue used to have many costumes. From the picture below, you could see the boy was naked.By the way, the original was created in 1619 and had been stolen for many times. The one shown in below photo was the latest version dated in  year 1965.


5. City Sightseeing / Bus Tour in Brussels

Bun Fried Chicken... Does Brussels have Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)?

Belgian Art Lace- I should have bought a laced pillow case.


Atomium shop which I spotted my favorite Smurf.

Cathedral of Saints Michel and Gudula- the national  Belgium Church where royal weddings take place.

 St. Nicolas church which was rebuilt after the 2nd world war.


Galeries Royales St Hubert- a gorgeous shopping arcade in the middle of Brussels; the place where I captured during the time where we missed the group.

6. Atomium

The final stop was at Atomium; located on the site of 1958 World Exposition. I never know it's a building structure which utilizes the shape of atom and bond. I thought it's just an icon of atom which has maximized. In fact, you may enter the building and have a great view of Antwerp. Few photos were captured in front of this 102 metres high iron molecule.



A church opposite of Atomium

The tram

Our journey in Brussels had ended and we headed to Amsterdam by bus around 6.40pm. The sky was a pitch dark and the driver was nice enough to travel around the city of Brussels to let us have a look on the city before we left for Amsterdam. We arrived Amsterdam with empty stomachs so we headed to restaurant for dinner before checking in our hotel in Amsterdam.


The big bowl of hot soup was served at the right time.
Our hands were extremely cold due to the weather in Amsterdam.


Post-script:

If I have more money and travel time, I will buy chocolates from different shops especially the famous one such as Neuhaus and Godviva. We did not have sufficient time to try waffles and fries from any cafe that situated near Grand Place. Also, we did not manage to get some fridge magnets and postcards to my mom. Anyway, we shall visit Brussels again in future as we missed out the Mini Europe.