Spring 2012 – Brussels, Belgium (and Brugges too!)

From mid May to early June of this year Dave and I embarked on a quick trip through Belgium, the Netherlands and France.  I never did a proper recap, so I’m going to do some mini recaps of the places we visited in the coming days.

Brussels, in pictures:

Brussels 2012 - 01

Brussels 2012 - 06

Brussels 2012 - 14

Brussels 2012 - 13

Brussels 2012 - 10

Brussels 2012 - 12

Brussels, in words:

Where we stayed:

Residence Marie-Therese:  I cannot say enough good things about this bed and breakfast.  It felt like staying with family, the best way possible.  The breakfast was delicious and filling, the host was friendly and helpful in suggesting places to visit, the room comfortable.

What we did:

Walked around:  There was LOTS of walking.  We visited the Grand Place, the Manneken Pis . . . you name it within walking distance of Gare Centrale, we probably visited it.

The Museum of Musical Instruments: The audio guide was different than anything we had ever experienced. It is basically a set of headphones one plugs into the headphone jacks spread throughout the museum, that play the music made by the corresponding instrument. Great for people who don’t want to spend an afternoon reading!

Atomium: a rather interesting building/sculpture constructed during the 1958 World Fair.  From the very top there is a nice panoramic view (accessible directly via elevator, but beware the lineup can take over an hour!), and the other spheres house exhibition space.  Yes, this is a very “tourist” thing to do, but we’re glad we did it!  Plus it was neat to take the metro out of the downtown city area, and walk through the gardens surrounding the Atomium.

Brugges: we took a day trip to Brugges.  Trains travel between Brussels and Brugges about every half hour, and the trip takes about an hour.  While it was a very pretty town, full of museums, it was also full of huge tour groups!  We visited the Dali Museum Gallery, which was much more an art gallery than a museum, and then spent the rest of our time walking around, admiring the architecture and parks.

What we ate:

Fries: we had high hopes . . . and they were just ok.  Much better than McD’s fries, but I guess I have Quebecois in me now, because I much prefer some nice squishy fries.  But they weren’t bad at all just not my fave, and the method of serving (in a paper cone, with dipping sauce) was fab.

Waffles: Out of a truck!  Out of a gazebo in the park!  Out of a window on the street!  I definitely enjoyed the waffles, especially the gauffres de liege. So much when I got home, I tried making them, with reasonable success.

Lapin à la gueuze: My apologies to anyone who thinks eating rabbit is a terrible thing to do.  Being half Italian and all I tasted rabbit early on and now it’s too late, I will forever think of rabbit as exceptionally delicious chicken.  Lapin à la gueuze (rabbit in gueuze style beer sauce) tastes like my mom’s chicken à la caciatore (hunter style chicken) made with rabbit instead of chicken and with a beer sauce (instead of a wine sauce).  Basically what I’m getting at is: super delicious!

Lots and lots of takeout: we were jetlagged for pretty much our entire stay in Brussels, which meant that oftentimes our appetites were not in sync with local eating times, and also weren’t as large as they usually are.  So instead of eating big meals we picked up odds and ends here and there.  A cone of fries here, a sandwich there, a kebab, a gyros in a box (box of awesomness, imagine a chinese takeout box containing fries, salad, gyro meat and tzatziki).

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2 Responses to Spring 2012 – Brussels, Belgium (and Brugges too!)

  1. faz says:

    I’m sad you didn’t like the Frites! I was there this last weekend and total feasted out on their frites it was the best! I miss their waffles already!

    • Amanda C says:

      Ah! It wasn’t so much that I didn’t like the fries, they were quite good as far as crispy fries go, I just prefer my fries more mushy. But for convenience and ease of eating out of the cone, they were great!

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