Brussels – the beautiful and beer-centric capital of Belgium. Admittedly I ended up there because the Ryanair flights to Greece were a lot cheaper out of Brussels than Paris, but I'm glad to have finally made it.
After schlepping my huge backpack to the hostel I immediately met an American guy named Andrew who was napping in a nearby bunk bed. Like all good solo travelers we insta-bonded and wandered the city together all afternoon.
The most heavily touristed area in Brussels is the striking Grand-Place. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and was once the meeting place of Flemish guilds. My nerdy history buff side had a field day imagining I was a Flemish textile merchant in the 15th century (yeah…). It was so easy to imagine, I mean look! Moving on…
Walking around Brussels you will smell lots of and lots of fresh-off-the-griddle gaufres, also known as Belgian waffles. Mine came topped with a generous serving of whipped cream and was almost worth taking the trip back to Brussels for.
After walking around for
45 minutes countless miles, we rested our weary feet at a café to try another famed Belgian specialty – beer. We asked the waitress to give us her favorite beer and she brought out the following masterpiece –
While I would like to blame my preference of fruity, babyish beers on being female, I may just be a lame beer drinker who should probably stick to Pinot Grigio. In Belgium, however, the light, wheat-flavored beers were right up my no hops allowed alley. I think I happily sampled upwards of five different beers in one night.
Side-note – after living in Paris for a few months the cheap prices in Belgium made my heart sing. The beer prices were totally reasonable as well.
See the urinating statue above? I have no idea why this is a landmark. When I tried to remember its name I typed into Google, “little peeing man.” Because that's all it is; A little peeing man surrounded by hordes of Nikon-toting tourists from all over the world.
Something I did appreciate? The gigantic and colorful street art murals around every corner. It was cool to see such modern displays of creativity mixed in with UNESCO-protected 500-year old buildings.
Naturally we finished off the night with a plate full of mayonnaise and ketchup-covered fries.
And if you are still reading this post I'd like to let you know that there is a Jacques Brel museum in Brussels. Though I didn't go in because I heard it was extremely lame, I think all of my 12 readers should take this time to better acquaint themselves with the brilliant Belgian singer, Jacques Brel. He's basically the male version of Edith Piaf and his songs will make you want to want to weep for your lost love. See this heart-breaking clip.