November 23, 2009

Vacation Photos: Brussels

Atomium, Brussels. Designed by Andre' Waterkeyn.

Hello, my dears! My brother Michael and I just got back from Brussels after a really interesting journey. Oh yes, we had an absolutely wonderful trip and lots and lots of Belgian waffles. Thank you for being so sweet and leaving so many wonderful comments. I look forward to catching up on your lovely blogs as soon as possible.
Now, I'd love to share with you a few  of my Brussels photos, if you'd like to see.
Atomium, (photo above) the 102m/326ft high steel and aluminum structure is Brussels' best-known landmark.
Designed by architect Andre' Waterkeyn for the 1958 Brussels World Exhibition it represents a molecule of iron magnified 165 million times. (It is consist of 9 spheres). The topmost sphere of Atomium contains a restaurant and a viewing platform.

Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is the administrative center of the European Union. This has earned the city the title of the Capital of Europe since 1958 and in 1967 the administrative centre  of NATO.
The European Parliament.

The European Parliament is the legislative branch of the EU. It currently has 732 representative members of 25 countries, (members-states). Belgium has been culturally divided into French-speaking and Flemish (Dutch-speaking) parts. Nowadays many people are bilingual and speak German and English, too.
Brussels has been given its character by the coexistence of French and Flemish culture and is home to nationalities around the world.
A featured Quick Hamburger Restaurant in Brussels.

In general, the fabulous atmosphere of Brussels is enhanced by medieval cobblestone streets, lively squares, lovely boulevards, stunning monuments, parks (a lot of parks), cozy cafe's and welcoming cozy restaurants.
Brussels with its active cultural life is definitely a cosmopolitan
I always visualized the spirit of Brussels as something creative,
spiritual, intellectual. Apparently this could not be more right.
The simplicity of neoclassical and ancient-Greek inspiration is 
broken by a very ornate decoration.

The Grand' Place (Market Place-1873) is the heart of the Old Town and the finest Gothic town square in Europe. The medieval layout of the lanes just seems to shunt you towards it. We wandered down twisty cobblestone streets. The buildings at Grand' Place were really breathtaking! 
I couldn't stop marvelling at all the magnificent Houses.
Baroque Guilty Houses at Grand' Place.

Baroque-is an artistic style prevalent from the late 16th century to the early 18th century. Bold, massing colonnades, domes, 
painterly colour effects. We were surprised to find the grandest of them suitably decorated with barley and hops, belonged to the Guild of Brewers.
The Town Hall at Grand' Place.

Town Hall is the most remarkable ancient monument of Brussels and also a wonderful example of Gothic architecture in Belgium. Town Hall is still the seat of the Mayor of Brussels.                                                                                                                                                              
When entering the Grand' Place from one of the seven side-streets my eyes were drawn to the Tower of the Town Hall pointing skywards.                                                                                       
The Fish Market with many lovely restaurants along the road.
We strolled in certain areas well- known for their gastronomic 
tables such as Place Sainte-Catherine known as the Fish Market. 
Brussels is also the Capital of gastronomy. 
I ordered an especially delicious meal of mussels mules marinieres with frites, (fries), a local specialty- which is to say truly international. That plate seemed almost too much to get through. We had also Tartar steak with Belgian fries, another Belgian specialty. I ordered a local crisp cherry-flavoured beer, called Kriek.
I couldn't resist ordering a dessert and it was fabulous -a homemade waffle- a classic dish which came in a plate with fresh cream and hot cherry sauce on top.
Oh my gosh, I fell in love with Belgian waffles!
Actually, it would be dishonest to write about Brussels laces, and tapestries. 
Did you know that Belgium produces no fewer than seven hundred beers? Brussels is arguably the capital of beer. We went to Maison Cirio by far the finest bar-a spacious saloon-in Brussels.      

Manneken-Pis, the small bronze fountain sculpture.
The official spirit of Brussels has been a naked cheeky little boy 
gleefully urinating into the fountain's basin in public. Known as Manneken-Pis, the little bronze figure has been the subject of many conflicting legends.
It was designed by Jerome Duquesnoy and put in place in 1619. Its endure popularity is reflected in the number of expensively tailored costumes that are sent in from all over the world to clothe the naked statue on ceremonial occasions. These have ranged from American Army uniforms to matador outfits to Hawaiian folk-dress.                                                                                             
A beautiful chocolate shop in Brussels at Grand' Place.

There are also bike lanes in Brussels. Did you know that the traffic in Brussels is very low compare to other European capitals and drivers are very respectful toward cyclists? I was so taken by the magnificent Grand' Place, the  monuments, the fabulous laces, the tapestries, the Brussels waffles!   
I'm officially obsessed with the city and would recommend it to any aspiring traveler. It had been such a wonderful trip and experience!                                                                                                                                                                                
Brussels made me feel satisfyingly at home.  xx                                                                                            


blueviolet said...

Oh my gosh, you saw soooo many cool things! That waffle looked so good!!!

I love that Atomium structure!

I'm glad you had a great time with your brother. :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures! I especially loved the one with all the waffles. LOL!

It looks like a beautiful place. I am glad you had a good time!

5thsister said...

The history! The architecture! The waffles! This was an amazing stroll through the city. I am so glad you had a great time and I can't wait to hear more!

5thsister said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
flying eagle woman said...

oh gosh I feel like I got to tag along with you! nice pictures, now I have added Brussels to my list of "where I want to go when I win the lottery!"

Glad you're back, glad you had a good time with your brother!

athina said...

Brussels is really a lovely country with many sightseeings!!!As it seems,you had a great time.

Traci said...

Welcome back!
Beautiful pics, as always! said...

Welcome back!

Thanks for the virtual tour. i've never been to Brussels but now I feel like I have. Those waffles look divine!

Did you bring me any chocolate? ;)

The Peach Tart said...

The city is beautiful and I love all the pictures of the food. I love mussels and fries and Belgian waffles. So glad you enjoyed your trip.

Ekanthapadhikan said...


chicamom85 said...

What an adventure! The photos are wonderful. Thank you for sharing your journey.


Nevine said...

Oh, Brussels. My husband and I have so many beautiful memories there... three years of beautiful memories. I will never forget the city, the people, the entire country of Belgium.

Welcome back, Betty. It looks like you had an amazing time!


yonca said...

Hi Betty,
Welcome back! these pictures are amazing! I'm glad you had a wonderful time.

plainolebob said...

Betty, Welcome home.
That looked like a just wonderfully gastronomically, chocoately delicious, architecturially, fabulous trip.
The pictures were nice too.
ps, I am looking at my leggo waffle in disdain now.

Alice in Wonderland said...

Brussels is such a fantastic place! We were going to go there to live just before my husband died. Their chocolate is just the best in the world!
Sorryu I've not been around much lately, but we are in the middle of an awful storm. Lots of damage has been done here, and we are getting a lot of power-cuts! So I'm just trying to get around as many people as I can while I have the chance!

Corrie Howe said...

Welcome back. What lovely pictures. Thank you for sharing. I'll probably never get to there myself, but it is nice to be exposed to it.

Tammy Howard said...

Oh my goodness! This was just - to steal your word - grand! Thanks for sharing your adventure!!!

Lynette said...

Ohhh...the magic of Europe! I would love to travel there one day.

Glad you're back...missed you.

Cairo Typ0 said...

I've never been but am now officially jealous! Mussels, chocolate, beer, awesome sculpture art, architecture. I can't wait to hear more about this trip!!

Betty said...

Thank you for your sweet comments.
I missed you all!!!

Turquoise Diaries said...

I always travelled to Brussels for business so not many happy memories from there, however your photos are very nice showing a lively part of the city. and I didnt know that mule marinieres is from Brussel, I thought that it was French.

big mama said...

Welcome back! I am glad you had such a nice time! Thank you for your lovely post and the beautiful photos!

Farila said...

Wow Wow Wow!!!! What a place to visit. I enjoyed the pics a lot. I almost drooled over myself ...

Thanks for sharing this amazing place with us.

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

What a wonderful trip!

Garden Lizard

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

Oh wow. Beautiful pictures. I want to go.

I also want a waffle. Yum.

Unknown Mami said...

Welcome back! So happy to hear you had a deliciously wonderful time. Thank you for sharing you pictures and experiences. Now I'm hungry.

Tater Tot Mom said...

Belgian waffles are my absolute favorite! Those look insanely good!

Great pics as always and the Atomium looks really cool!

Gloria said...

I adore Brussels . . have been there three times with hubby and had a glorious time looking at the fab architecture. Thank you for the wonderful photos . . memories!!!

You have a new follower:-)

Anonymous said...

Wow, much better than any social studies class. If I look at those waffles again, I'll go on a food binge! Happy Thanksgiving!


Yael said...

Welcome back! Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. Your pictures are great- I hope to make Brussels a destination in the not too far future.

ritsa said...

Beautiful photos and city!

Nelly said...

Love tha photos! Welcome back!!

Peter said...

Welcome back!! Loved this post!

michael said...

Great photos great journey!!

PopisK said...

Terrific Houses at Grand Place!!
Loved your post!!

Ted said...

Welcome back!!
FANTASTIC city and pics!!!.

Betty said...

Yael, I wish you that.

♥♥ tuğçe♥♥ said...

BETTY i posted an award for u on my blog but i think u could not notice plsss visit when u have a time

Bobbi said...

Those pictures are great! I love the old buildings in Europe, they are so beautiful!

And I lurve me some Belgian waffles, they're my favorite!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful report, enjoyed my stroll around Brussels. The Belgium waffles appear to be an unmitigated disaster for my waistline.

Thanks also for your visit to Peru with me.


Aion said...

Beautiful Photos! I was stationed in Europe during the "Cold War" and visited Brussels while there... I really miss it.

This was a real "trip" back in time :) Thanks for sharing your visit with us!

kys said...

Amazing pictures! Looks like you had a wonderful trip. I'm so glad you're back!

quilly said...

I recently had a visitor from Belgium. I can see why she was so unimpressed with our buildings.

....Petty Witter said...

Hi, Many thanks for visiting me at Pen And Paper, it was nice to meet you.

A great post with some interesting observations and wonderful photos - I especially like the Guildy Houses.

Kate said...

Great pictures. I had an interesting and witty comment in my head but then I becaome distracted by the food!

Glad you had a good time

Kate xx


me encanta toda esa arquitectura!

amazing photos!

Teresha@Marlie and Me said...

I love all the amazing looks and sounds like you had a blast!!!

Melissa B. said...

Sounds like you had tons of fun, and I love, Love, LOVE the Superior Snaps!

A Thanksgiving Limerick, DC-style:

I just heard that two turkeys’ demise
Was avoided, to their great surprise.
The big turkey in power,
In the eleventh hour,
Gave them pardon, along with the pies.

Hope you and yours have the Happiest!
(And no, I did not write that limerick...but I did Google it!)

Betty said...

Melissa, I LOVED those snaps too,
and thanks fot the limerick.

Georgia said...

Beautiful photos!!
What a journey!

Despina said...

Thanks for the great photos and journey!

sonia said...

Love the architecture!
Your shots are stunning!sugar!.
Love the waffles and mussels!!!
with love

Nicole Feliciano said...

Love the picture of the market. Food shopping reveals a lot about a culture.

Laura said...

Love Brussels !!You pics are magiacaL

jules said...

The food photos are amazing! They look awesome!

jules said...

The food photos are amazing! They look awesome!

PJ said...

You are a gifted photographer. I really like your photo diary. Thanks for sharing. Work takes me to 30 to 40 countries a year. I have eaten at the restaurant on top of the Atomium. The food was good and view beautiful.

Molly Burke, Queen of Confidence said...

My family on my mother's side is from Brussels. Your post made me ache in my ancestral bones to go back and visit!

Happy SITS Day! Glad I found you.

Molly Burke CPCC MSU
Queen of Confidence
"Even before I begin, I am made of win!"

jeanne @ Inspiring Ideas said...

Oh - what memories! I lived there my last semester of college. Quite a few years ago! Ha! Loved it!
(Coming from SITS)

Anonymous said...

Wow I love it!
Great post!!

Leovi said...

A great series with excellent shots. It was a delight to walk with your glance Brussels. A hug.

Brandon said...

Oh, Brussels. My husband and I have so many beautiful memories there... three years of beautiful memories. I will never forget the city, the people, the entire country of Belgium. Welcome back, Betty. It looks like you had an amazing time! Nevine