Monday, September 14, 2015

Brussels, Belgium (Round 2)

Actual date of this event: 20 March

Luke and I decided to head to Ghent, Belgium for the weekend as we missed the city during our first trip to Belgium. We decided to take the Eurostar since we were now living super close to St. Pancras International (approx. 1 mile) which meant we could take an early train (without needing the tube) which meant tickets were MUCH cheaper. Well, the Eurostar only goes as far as Brussels, so we decided to spend a few hours revisiting the city before getting on a train to Ghent.
We arrived around 10am, and immediately walked to Grand-Place Grote Markt, the main town square. The buildings were just as beautiful as I remembered them.

As we were standing around, we saw a bunch of people taking pictures of the sky, and realized we totally forgot about the solar eclipse! We arrived just in time to see the tail end of it! It was cloudy, but they weren't thick enough to fully cover it up. Apparently, it was way too cloudy in London back home to see it, so we got lucky! (mostly lucky due to our timing though) What a cool way to start our weekend!

We then wandered over to the Manneken Pis, where crowds gathered around the itty bitty statue. It's such a silly icon for a city to have!

We wandered a little bit more before we couldn't take it any longer! It being the smell of waffles!! I have got to figure out a way to make waffles the authentic way.

We wandered a little bit more before we couldn't take it anymore! It being the idea that there are Belgian beers to drink and we aren't drinking them!! But we somehow convinced ourselves that it was 11:30am, and we had more days in Belgium to go, so we stopped into a beer store to begin choosing what we wanted to drink for the weekend.

And then we made our way to the top bar in the city, Delirium Cafe. Outside of the bar is the girl manneken pis. We missed this the first time around, along with Delirium Cafe. When I think back to our first trip to Brussels, the first things that come to mind are waffles, beer, waffles, the EU Parliamentarium, and waffles. We were almost spot on in having our priorities straight!
Anyway, Delirium Cafe has a massive beer list that I wouldn't even recommend attempting to look at. There are over 3,000 different beers and new ones arrive every month. It reminded us of a bar in New Orleans. It opens at 10am. They don't sell food. It was huge! There were people already drinking inside when we arrived at noon. It was our kind of place!

But we had to put a stop to it or things would get bad. Drinking 9% beers on an empty stomach at noon was not the most brilliant plan. So we wandered our way back over to the Manneken Pis where one of our favorite places from last time sits.

Poechenellekelder is a great spot to get some good beers and food, and also get a little freaked out by puppets. Last time, Luke and I sat at this place for hours drinking away, and we also had yummy lasagna to wash down our beers. We had a quick lunch as Luke was skeptical of the puppets.
After the puppets explained they were not trying to steal his beer, he decided they were all right guys.
Moving along, we wanted to stop at one more place for a beer before getting on the train. We headed to Bier Circus which is in a less touristy area of the city. Thinking about it now, it seemed like the whole city was lacking tourists, but it was a Friday in mid-March. Anyway, we seemed to be on a roll with these crazy bars because Bier Circus was full of clowns. First puppets, then clowns?

After three Belgian beers before 3pm, we were doing pretty well for ourselves. We headed back to the train station which walked us passed one of our most memorable spots during our travels - New Years 2013! I remember that like it was yesterday... so much fun!

Around 4pm, we hopped on a train to Ghent to spend the rest of the weekend!

Audrey Hepburn was born in Brussels.

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