Monday just passed, I got up at 3am to head to the airport to get a flight to Brussels. It was absolutely freezing when we arrived in Belgium, but we made our way to the hotel to unpack. From there, we headed out to explore the city and get our bearings with the place. With two hours sleep on my back, I somehow managed travel all around the city, not the slightest bit tired.
We passed chocolate shop, after chocolate shop, getting to try different samples in almost each one. We eventually made our way, chocolate filled tummies and all, to the Grand-Place. Wow, was it gorgeous. My mother and I were both mesmerized by the beauty of these elegant, shining structures. The square had colourful Chinese structures in the middle to celebrate the Year of the Dog, which just brighten it up even further. I did not know where to begin in capturing this moment. I was simply too in awe of my surroundings.
Now, anyone who has ever known anything about Brussels, knows about the importance of ‘Manneken Pis’. Every shop window is filled with magnets, key rings, ornaments of this sculpture. My friend was telling me about this before I came but I really wasn’t prepared for the amount of merchandise everywhere I turned. Ironically, after all that, I only found this statue after finding myself lost on my way back to the hotel. And I only seen it because the crowds of people surrounding it got my attention. I’m not sure I would have come across it had that not happened, so there’s always a silver lining!
Another popular landmark we stumbled upon was ‘ Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert’. Stumbled upon very happily I may add. I had seen photos on Pinterest previously, but they were nothing compared to its beauty in real life. I was stunned yet again. It was just so simply exquisite and charming. I was in love. We stopped in this wonderful little café where we treated ourselves to some coffee and a cake. Something that was much-needed retreat from the cold weather for a while.
One of the most iconic structures in Brussels is that of Atomium. It is a 102m tall building, that was originally constructed for the Brussels World Fair in 1958. As soon as we got in we took a lift right up to the top floor which gave us a wonderful view of all its surroundings. From there, we went back down to the ground floor and went to the other floors via stairs and escalators. The whole place was filled with colourful art
and engaging facts covering the history of the place and different artists. It had a lot of surrealist art and discussed briefly on the human mind. Everywhere I looked there was something else. It was such a great experience and a definite must see for anyone going to Brussels.
We walked around 15km everyday, exploring each corner of the city. The was magnificent buildings and beautiful parks. I would have loved to have stayed longer, unfortunately though, a snow storm, Storm Emma, hit Ireland and our flight was cancelled. Our only option was to come home on an early flight or be stuck over the weekend which really wasn’t an option. Brussels is a wonderful, wonderful city though nonetheless. Definitely one worth a visit. And one I hope to return to again.