Belgium, the land I adored for Beautiful Architecture , Landscapes , fries, waffles and chocolates. Here is my account of my recent & FABULOUS trip to Belgium where I visited Brussels for 3 days. On a side note i also visited Bruges & Ghent , which I would cover in a seperate blog.
We took a 2 hour train ride from Amsterdam central station to reach Brussels. We decided to stay at Novotel Hotel near the central station , which was approximately a 3-4 minute walk away. We always make it a point to stay near the central station and near the heart of all the buzz.
Once we turned left from the station to our hotel. I could hear the violins and guitars playing the background. This can only happen in Europe. Beautiful street jazz music everywhere . I wish we could witness here back home as well. The hotels great points were service and great proximity to the station. I must add the breakfast was a much better than what we received in our Amsterdam hotel. One can make their own warm waffles, at the breakfast. Hard to beat that. Isn’t it ?
Moving on, I instantly had a big bright smile on my face, when we reached the city centre. I could see the square right opposite the hotel bleeming with people, having scrumptious food and engrossing conversation. Decorated with the aroma of the warm delectable waffles filling the air. I must take a moment and make a special mention about the architecture, beautiful, historic and well preserved. This pretty much paints the picture of the FIRST LOOK at Beautiful Brussels.
The hotel was thankfully 4-5 minute walk away from the GRAND PLACE square . I CAN OFFICIALLY DECLARE IT AS – THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SQUARE. This is coming from a person , who has visited and observed many beautiful squares in the lifetime, precisely of 32 different countries and I maintain, it was the MOST BEAUTIFUL SQUARE EVER !!
Picture this, beautiful palatial building, decorated with history , stories and wealth from the past. Big stoney architecture from the medieval time, long windows and Cobble street decorating the street and me with a big grin on my face . Thankfully a concert was happening at the square, in the honour of the history and the king. The people of the town doned the attire of the medieval time and performed a few acts .
I was also lucky enough to witness a parade of people dressed in fanciest of medieval time clothes, carrying with beautiful flags, banners marching along the drum beat. This i was able to capture, right under my room window (side note; perks of booking the hotel right next to the railways station).
We also explored the little arcade called the Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert. This was royal in very sense when it comes to the architecture, just splendid. House to many chocolatiers, selling their delectable chocolate. If you are in belgium, do take a moment to indulge in them, one can even try a piece or two for a price of course ( 2 minutes walk from our hotel). Some shops also have a chocolate making session tour. This happens once or twice a day for which you may book in advance. Since there is also a tasting session accompanied with the tour.
To explore the city, we booked a private tour to take us around the city for 4 hours. This started with the walking tour around the Grand Place Square, showing us The King’s house, Brussels Town Hall, city museum among many. I also fancied the little tales of the time gone , when we were treading around the beautiful alleys. The one that stayed with me , was about a statue in the Grand Palace square. It’s famous for one thing; if one is looking for a soul mate, you need to tour it from head to toe. However, little did people know, that this statue in the grand place is the replica of the original one lost in time.
The tour later moved on to become a car tour showing us monumental places like Parc Du Cinquantenaire , Atonium, Mont De arts , The Royal palace and many more. I did feel that the rest of the city had moved on with time, as compared to the alleys next to the Grand Place.
I also make it a point to collect some souvenirs from our little trips, which needs to have some tale about the city. Since Belgium is also house to many lace shops. Which would be hard to miss. I thought of indulging in it. Beautiful table cloth for the house and even more beautiful delicate frock dress for my 18 month old . I also picked up some mouth melting belgium chocolates for family & friends.
I think the high point of my trip or lets say, the memory that first comes to my mind, when I think of Brussels. It’s the dinner at Grand Place. The open little cafes, overlooking the Grand palace and the Town hall, along with a beautiful symphony playing in the background along with people dressed in historic attires, decorated with a scrumptious smell of the sea food accompanied with warm waffles and delectable wine.
To be very honest, Between Amsterdam and Belgium, I was more excited about Amsterdam. But Brussels, stole my heart. I think , its time to declare ; I am in love with Brussels.
I also visited, Ghent and Brudges , for which I think deserves a seperate blog.
Hope you liked reading my blog.