Friday, September 26, 2014

Brussels in a Day

A couple months ago our daughter was at a cheerleading competition in Germany so the husband and I took the opportunity to get away and check out a bit of Belgium!

We chose Brussels because it is a more well known city. Antwerp is closer and a big-ish city but I couldn't really nail down anything to do there that seemed ultra entertaining so Brussels it was.

Since we don't drive over here my #1 priority was getting us there...I secured passage via SNCB Europe. I liked this site best because I could see Thalys and the InterCity Trains, which is what we traveled on. We picked our tickets up at Amsterdam Centraal and the best part about using the IC Trains is that if you miss your train you just pick the next one coming in...easy peasy.

It was a quick ride over quite a bit of beautiful countryside to see....I don't think I will ever get sick of the windmills....

When we got there is was sunset so we were able to get some great pictures!

It was amazing seeing the sunset in Brussels. Such a gorgeous sky. We got to watch this as we wander to our hotel, which after some wandering we wound up grabbing a cab. We stayed at the Motel One Brussels...fantastic hotel. Great staff, great bar, and excellent rooms!

Once we checked in we headed in to the more downtown area and grabbed some dinner and wanted to see some sites:

This picture does not do the color of that sky justice. It was the most vibrant, brilliant blue. I wish we could go back to that night so I could stare at that color more. It was gorgeous!

We then headed over to Grand Place...the way to see this place is at night for sure, it is gorgeous!

We were shocked at how packed this square was a night, but it is so beautiful when everything is all lit up!

This is the Town Hall

This is one of the Guild Houses that surrounds the square.

We walked all around this area trying to orient ourselves so we kind of knew where we wanted to start in the morning. I had written out our itinerary so I wanted to make sure we could cover as much ground as possible, we did only have a few hours after all, most of this stuff closes at 5pm, as most European things do. As we wandered we managed to find some fantastic waffles:

'Cause ya know, we were in Belgium, so you have to get a Belgian Waffle, duh! 

After getting back to the hotel around midnight, we grabbed some drinks and enjoyed the patio and then got a good nights sleep and we started on our way about 9am...

This place was amazing.

Those spikes! Just wow!

Very mid-evil. From the moment you walked in you could just feel the energy, if any place could make you fear God, it was this place for sure!

This place is amazing and definitely a must see when you are in Brussels! They have oak confessional boxes, there were side boxes dedicated to Saints where you could go and light a candle based on your need. These boxes were well used so I did not take any photos as it is rude to disrupt someone in their prayer that way. Also, there is a place where you put in €2,50 and you can go down to the crypt!!!!!! We did not go down there as we weren't 100% sure at the time you could, and two, it is super, super, super creepy looking down there! 

As we left the church we found a waffle truck:

This was probably the best waffle I'd ever had. You could get lots of toppings and what not on it, but we opted for just the sweet waffle, it was so soft and warm and amazing.

We then strolled on down and visited the Grand Place again:

After we decided to check out the Palais Royal:

I loved the gardens....

...that gold work! I love, love, love it!

We continued up then to Coudenberg.

These are the ruins of the old castle of Charles V...

eventually this castle was torn down and flattened to create the royal district....

these ruins are still accessible, and have a lot of history to tell... 

I love walking through the halls of history and touching the walls where many important people who created history once went about their daily business...

There is a museum upstairs...honestly, it isn't really very interesting haha

I loved this staircase, the husband wouldn't let me get on it...probably wise lol

I just loved the roughness and the color of this brick!

Keys to the castle....

The Coudenberg was the final thing I felt we had to see. So, we just went wandering after that and got some food...

A church along the way...

We loved this was beautiful all in bloom.

My husband loved the statues outside this museum (I have no idea what the museum was, we didn't stop)

I love the statues in Europe.
They were restoring this piece, if we get the chance to go back I would love to see what they do with it. But, it was so cool to just walk through all these buildings then come to this. Amazing.

He is just like a kid...btw, those legs! <3 p="">

The street we ate was perfect for eating outside!

This place was delicious! ...and I sucked at taking the picture because I totally cut off the name! :-/

Au Gratin Potatoes....even the husband enjoyed these, so that is saying something!

After our late lunch/early dinner we walked around for a while so we could find some chocolate to take home ;)

We wound up at this mall...

Neuhaus....this is the cafe, next door you can buy many different types of amazing chocolates.

We got the frozen hot chocolate they offered...I found it delicious, thick, but delicious. The husband was a good sport and drank a bit of his, but he isn't a chocolate lover, but at least he tried it with me ;)

So, that was our first romantic trip away as a couple. It was so fun!

Have you ever been to Brussels? What was your favorite site to see?

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