A Rainy Afternoon in Brussels

Brussels, as the capital of Belgium, is a large cosmopolitan city, home of the European Commission and Council of Ministers of the European Union, and NATO Headquarters.  It is international, bilingual, very sophisticated, and a traffic nightmare on a rainy day.  We crawled around the city, taking bad photos from rain smeared bus windows.  [I was intrigued to see how some of the city trees are pruned, and had a preview of how they might look when leafed out; I think they will be interesting and pretty.]

Quick stops to see the gigantic Atomium [built for the Worlds Fair in Brussels in 1958] and the funny little Manekin Pis [a small bronze fountain sculpture from the early 1600s] led us finally to the gorgeous Grand Place where we darted about looking for a warm dry place to try one of the 1000 types of Belgian beer and a Belgian waffle.

The Grand Place is stunning, the guild houses and their architectural details are wonderful, and I loved the visual drape over buildings undergoing repair that retains the sense of the place.  

A covered walking street allowed for some viewing of fantastic Belgian chocolate [those purses are indeed made of chocolate!] but there was no time for looking at lace or tapestry, which I didn’t need anyway.  It was a crazy few hours, and unsatisfying, but better than no Brussels at all.

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