Sunday, May 8, 2016

On To Brussels

After s-Hertogenbosch, we thought we might return to Amsterdam for King's Day, which had been recommended to us. In Amsterdam, particularly, it is sort of a national block party, with street markets and yard sales galore. The largest of the city parks becomes a gigantic flea market for children only, where they can set up tables, buy and sell, barter and haggle, and learn the fundamentals of capitalism. It's in their genes anyway. The forecast was for continued cold, rainy, and windy weather, however, and we decided a flea market wouldn't be so much fun in a gale. Besides, neither of us has a stitch of orange to wear. So we headed on to Belgium and Brussels, finding a coop campground in Kraanem, a short bus ride from Metro #1 and thence to the city center.

We had three goals in Brussels: walk/shop the old bits again, and the Grand Place; visit the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, and especially its Old Masters section; and see some art nouveau in the city where architect Viktor Horta reigned. Throw in a cathedral, a memorable meal, and fine if chilly weather, and it was a pretty good visit. Plus I stocked up on Duvel, and, as a superb later bonus, picked up a few more bottles of Westvleteren #12. But that's another post.

Our first day was at the Royal Museum, and walking around the city center, and lunch at Leon's.
Just out of the Metro at the central station, up into a square,
mostly contemporary architecture

But with some nods to tradition

Thus; on the left is the Old England building, an art nouveau
structure we'll see later

More traditional Flemish too

Looking back toward the Grand Place

In one of the beautiful late 19th century covered arcades

Lots of lace and chocolate; not pictured. Mary's, where Vicki
indulged a bit

Into the Grand Place


And thus; it's much better at night, but
impressive enough by day too

In our campground's neighborhood, one of the most vined
buildings I've seen

TinTin Land; at the cartoon museum

Out on the street too

Container sculpture

1 comment:

Tawana said...

Oh, loved the lace shop photo! Were you worried about safety in Brussels? Everybody asked us about that when we were going to Paris, but, frankly, it never entered our minds.