Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bonjour Belgium!

A New Years Resolution of mine is to travel and visit more places. Its going very well so far! I just got back from a lovely break in Belgium last week. Its a very interesting place to visit with lots to do and see (and drink and eat).

The Grand-Place was top of the list and since our hotel was right across the road, I got to see it everyday. Each building as exquisite as the next, one of the buildings tipped with gold.. like something from a painting.

The city is steeped in history and tradition. It is also the birthplace of surrealist painter René Magritte, whose museum we visited. Waffles (Gaufres) are a speciality there and they are so good, the smell of waffles is the first thing that hits you the minute you arrive in Brussels with people eating waffles on the street and drinking champagne, as you do. Chocolatiers, patisseries and friteries are everywhere as well as churros, a sweet strip of fried dough dusted with sugar or cinnamon.

They also do a huge selection of beers a local speciality is "Lapin à la Kriek" which is rabbit marinated in kriek, a cherry beer. There was no way I could eat a rabbit but i did try the cherry Kriek which was particularly delicious.

I could chat about Belgium all day so I'll let the photos do the talking ;)

View from the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

The Grand Place

Grand Place

A man selling his paintings in the centre of the Grand Place

A Christmas crib, luckily we arrived just before they started taking down Christmas decorations and lights

Mannekin Pis (small weeing boy) statue, much smaller then you think but quite the famous statue in Brussels

In the centre of Brussels

One thing that struck me about Belgium was the amazing window displays, lots of thought and detail in each one. This is a famous Belgian chocolate shop.

Belgium also famous for its intricate lace

Atomium, a must see. Nine 'atoms' of Belgian design

Elizabeth Taylor with a model of the Atomium in 1958

Mini Europe in BruPark, such a fun time. A park with models of some of the major landmarks and cities in Europe

A model of Venice at Mini Europe

Clogs of Holland 

Grand Place at night, there was a light show every night with thousands of people coming together watching the changing colours and lights of the buildings it really is amazing to watch!

Typical Souvenir shop in Brussels just down the road

Tea and Belgian chocolate at Le Roy D'Espagne 

On a Sightseeing tour

Bruges one of the most beautiful cities I have seen, we had to get a train to Knokke-Blankenberge to get there (This was fun to say haha!)

Bruges canal

Basilica of the Holy Blood, this was a bit special as we got blessed and placed our hand on the Relic of the Precious Blood (the basilica is best known as the repository of a venerated phial said to contain a cloth with blood of Jesus Christ, brought to the city by Thierry of Alsace after the 12th century Second Crusade)

A beautiful church in Bruges

Belgian chocolate

Belgian tapestry window display

The Museum of the City of Brussels, a model of the country of Belgium, in the background a painting of the Grand-Place when it burned down, and was then rebuilt 

The many costumes that the Mannekin Pis was sent by different countries, displayed in the Brussels City Museum.

A stain glass window at the museum
Monument of Albert I King of Belgium at Kunstberg (just before the Fine Arts Museums)

His wife Elisabeth is only across the road (Awww!)
At Rene Magritte Museum, I wasn't allowed take photos in here and the security guys were bigger then me so I didnt chance it. The museum displays a collection of his painting and personal photos and stories about himself collected and put together by his friend Camille Goemans.

So have you ever been to Belgium? Would you like to visit there? Any interesting new years resolutions? 


  1. It looks amazing, so cool you got to go!! Glad you enjoyed xx

    The Dainty Dolls House

  2. Looks utterly gorgeous! And I love the mention of Belgian Chocolate... how could you not? :p

    Aoife x

  3. So beautiful, and Beligian Chocolate is the best!