Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Busy in Brussels

Since Brussels was only a half hour train ride from Lille, we spent a day and night there. It's a very touristy city, with the Grand Place Square, a market square in the city center.

There are cafes and shops surrounding the square, all very beautiful. In the center is a flower and plant market.

Just around the corner is an inside 'mall' type area with an amazing glass ceiling.

But I much prefer the unusual.

While walking around the city, I saw many buildings painted in whimsical colors.

Brussels is known for it's cartooning. It's HUGE there. There's a museum, many shops and around town are these massive murals on buildings.

It was fun to turn a corner and find another one. This one is in a 'Dupont' like area of the city.

All well executed and totally fitting of the site that it's painted on.

Not sure what the 'boys boudoir' is about!

While looking for a place for dinner, we chanced upon this narrow row of eating establishments. The walkway is very narrow, with tables and chairs set up outside each restaurant. There were at least 50-60 restaurants along these few passageways, each beckoning for you to come in. "Pretty lady and gentleman, we have this table just for you!" I really don't care to be hustled into a place, but we did end up at a French place. They all seemed to have the same type of fare, mussels, paella and lobster. We got a prix fix meal of French onion soup, chicken cordon blue and of course a Belgian waffle for dessert. As we sat down I noticed a photo behind me that featured Claude Van Damme (the Muscles from Brussels!) sitting at the booth we were in.

Belgium is known for it's chocolates so of course we had to choose some. They did not disappoint! WOW!

and in case you needed any strawberries to go along with all that chocolate, there were plenty to be had.

From the train, going back to London. I've always liked these 'sawtooth' rooflines. And an extra bonus, while waiting to go through customs before boarding the Eurostar train, I saw a woman who I recognized but wasn't sure from where. I thought maybe one of my customers or someone from the kid's soccer days, as I was going through the Rolodex of familiar faces in my mind. Then I remembered, duh it was Laura Dern!!! with Ben Harper! They were right next to us for about 15 minutes. I didn't say anything of course, but kept sneaking quick glances. All in all, a great trip within a trip.

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