Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Brussels, Belgium

So, Brussels was...interesting. We had a very difficult time just getting to our hotel in downtown Brussels. Their main roads in the city are interesting, to say the least. They have these tunnels that run down the middle, and then it can be very confusing how to get out of them, etc. Our GPS was having a difficult time with our translation of the hotel's address, also. My parents were COMPLETELY lost as well and Mom and I were texting back and forth trying to get them to where we thought we were going.

Once we got to the hotel, 'The White Hotel', well, it was an interesting place to be sure. Everything inside was very modern and as you might guess, all white. Jon had a difficult time checking in and then we found out that their parking garage was full. After a frustrating drive there, and finding that out, then walking to their very strange elevators, we weren't very optimistic about the interiors of the room, and for good reason. The rooms were ok, but certainly not over-accommodating. The funniest part was in our room, where the 'art' was three orange street cones with a string of lights in them. They were sitting in front of the air conditioner, which did not work, and so we thought that it was a barrier telling us not to use it. So we called the front desk and were told that it was the art...hmm. We weren't impressed with the hotel, or the service, but their breakfast was fantastic the next morning.

The biggest tourist attractions in Brussels is The Grand Place, Manneken Pis, Belgium Chocolates, and Belgium Beer. We did all 4. The Grand Place is big, very big, extravagant, and seriously ornate. There are thousands of statues and carvings on the center square buildings with so much Golden accents on them that they shine in the sun. Originally, this was a center of the town where they would do their markets, and it's still used for that today. Manneken Pis is the tiny fountain of a young boy literally pissing into the fountain. The kids loved it, and we all got tiny statues as keepsakes. We even bought chocolates in the shape of Manneken Pis. When we visited, he had clothes on when we visited, we were assuming for Soccer, but apparently they dress him up for different things all the time. and, finally, yes, the beer and the chocolate was amazing. Jon liked the beer, we liked the chocolate.

Other than that, we weren't that keen on Brussels. It was busy and loud, and not really, well, our speed. We all agreed, been there, done that, no need to ever go back.

From Brussels we moved on to Luxembourg, which was a beautiful surprise for us.

The Manneken Pis.

He is everywhere in Brussels. Eating waffles, made of chocolate, EVERYWHERE!
Our hotel room...

The 'art' in our hotel room. No, I'm not kidding.

Waiting patiently for Grandma and Grandpa.
Joe wanted his picture taken in front of the flowers, and he was right to do so, this picture turned out great!

We ate at a great little side street cafe. The stew was AMAZING!

It was obvious that this pretty lady was being touched, a lot, for luck. We must have watched 20 people do it while we were there, so we did too!

Joci loved the sweets store, especially the one with a barbie in it.

Brussels, Belgium, September 16th, 2011

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