Hello, how was your weekend? Am popping by to share more about our Brussels trip (click here for the places you could go if you have kids). One of the must see places in Brussels would be the Grand Place, which is the city's central square, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Just walking around the square itself is a feast for the eyes, with its guildhalls and its beautiful town hall:
|The Brussels Town Hall.|
There's usually something happening in the Grand Place. The first time we visited, there were preparations being made for a jazz festival. And we planned our second trip to Brussels mainly because we wanted to see the flower carpet:
|The flower carpet. The building on the right is the Maison du Roi (King's House).|
This is an event held once every two years, where the square is filled with flowers to form a certain design. My photos do not do justice to the actual carpet, and you can see all the designs here. It was pretty amazing just to stand there and just stare at the carpet, and how painstakingly the flowers were arranged to fill the entire square. Apparently the flowers have to be packed tightly, to ensure that the wind does not blow them away!
Aside from the Grand Place, we (or rather the adults at least) enjoyed walking around the Sablon area, which is full of shops selling all sorts of antiques, from beautiful clocks to old school desks (hubby commented that they looked like the ones he used in school). During weekends, an antiques market is held at the Place du Grand Sablon, and there are stalls selling all sorts of things, from old books and prints to delicate chinaware (as well as gramophones, which I had to restrain the hubby from buying!). However, all I've bought from the market are vintage postcards (which I blogged about here). On our second trip, I managed to find these postcards, still including postmarks and stamps, featuring famous monuments around the world. Oddly enough, these were cheaper at the antiques market compared to those at the flea market!
There's also the Place du Jeu de Balle, about a 15 minutes walk away, which houses a huge flea market that runs everyday. While I love rummaging at flea markets, we've always managed to visit Brussels at the hottest times of the year (it was 39 degrees during our recent trip!). We've never survived very long at the flea market, which seems to get the brunt of the sun, unlike the antiques market that is nestled in a shady area, and tend to concede defeat after walking among the stalls for abit. However, for our second visit, we did manage to score this beauty, before we made a run from the sun:
|The globe was in almost pristine condition. And it lights up!|
If flea-marketing is not for you, then there are the various cathedrals scattered all through the city center, and museums that feature everything from music instruments to lace, and even beer!
Or if you want to keep it simple, just walking around the residential areas can be interesting too. We've shopped at a street market to get fresh produce, and also stocked up on peanut butter from the supermarket (they sell the Dutch Calve peanut butter, which I prefer, as its less sweet compared to the usual Skippy!). And all their houses are unique, with different coloured doors:
... different house numbers and letter boxes:
All, in all, Brussel's a pretty nice place to just wander about in (but do watch out for your valuables, since horror stories of pickpockets abound!)!