We may have been back for a week, but fear not, the second (and final) installment of my Brussels blog is finally here. It also conincides nicely with the implementation of my ‘tags’ feature on my website. Using the ‘tags’ tab on the blog page you can now search for entries relating to a specific category, such as Brussels!
So, on the Sunday we got up at about 9 am and after another in-room breakfast of Pain au Chocolate, we decided to go on one of the ’90 minute walking tours’ in the DK Brussels Guide book. The weather had taken a turn for the chillier and whilst the sky was clear as anything it had also got windier. However, we pursevered and on our travels we got to see the Mannekin Pis, as well as some cool Tintin art of the side of a building (which I personally found more interesting than a random little statue of a child peeing). The tour then took us up some cute little Belgian streets and part two different sections of the old city wall. We had a little trip into a fancy cake shop which also sold nice chocolate and things. We resisted the cakes though – well done us!
The next stop on our tour was the Parque du Sablon, right next to the Notre-Dame du Sablon. It was really pretty little park and the church looked very lovely in the sunshine. We then popped round the corner by-passing the Art Museum and instead visiting the Music Museum which was much more fun. Not only did we get young person entry (4 euros instead of 5 for under 26’s) but they gave you a set of headphones so that, as you walked round, you could hear the different instruments playing a tune! It was a really extensive collection of instruments too – 4 floors.
After a sandwich and cookie lunch, we headed back to the hotel for a rest from the cold. By this time it was already about 3 pm so we didn’t feel too guilty! We watched a bit of bbc 1 and attempted to get a photo of us in our hotel room using the self-timer. This is our best attempt (the first one no less) and it’s a bit lop-sided, but oh well!
At about 6pm we went out for dinner at the Grand Place. After three nights of looking at menus we realised that, whilst the food was good, all the menus were the same. So, we settled for a fairly quiet place and had dinner there. I say quiet, but true to form there was a random druken guy in there who was, of course, English. Luckily he departed half way through our main course! I had Salmon with mustard sauce and vegetables and Sam had lamb chops. We then both had a waffler mikado (with chocolate and vanilla ice cream) for pudding – naughty I know but we resisted the cakes earlier! After dinner we ventured to the UGC across the road from our hotel and caught an original version showing of Michael Clayton. Sam is supposed to be reviewing it for Revado (since he hasn’t reviewed anything in years) but hasn’t done it as of yet…
On Monday morning we packed up all of our bits and bobs, took some pics of the room and then checked out. Being a swanky 5 star we were able to leave our bags there, so we took the metro back out the Heysel (near the Atomium) to go to Domaine du Laeken,a big park. Unfortunately we got a bit lost and it was windy and drizzling. Morale was going slowly downhil as we couldn’t find the park but eventually got there. We trooped around for a while and were on the verge of turning back when we finally found the Monument Léopold which is really impressive (aside from the silly fence they’ve put round it). Right down the drive was the Château Royal which was rather grand, although much less guarded then any British royal palace! We wandered past there and back towards the town until we finally found a metro to go back into town.
After our expedition we treated ourselves to a tasty pizza lunch and then went to buy some fancy chocs (for us) and biscuits (to take to work). I then had a small shopping spree in Zara and Mango and bought myself some nice clothes. By this time it was about 4pm, so we headed back to Café Metropole and had a tea and cake (cherry pie), which I was determined to do since we stayed at the hotel. At about 5.45pm we jumped on a tram to the Gare Midi; the trams are not as nice as the metro. We bought some sarnies, checked in, got on the train and 1hr 50 later, bob’s your uncle, we were back in St Pancras. I shall not bore you with the remainder of the journey but that ends our trip to Brussels! As always, all pictures are on Revado!