26 Jun

In a land famous for waffles, French fries, beer and chocolate – not to mention a little public urination –  what’s not to love about Belgium and its capital city Brussels? 

Home to the European Union headquarters and the birthplace of the french fry (all this time and I should have been calling it a Belgian fry?!) Brussels is an odd mix between old and new; ugly and beautiful – but even the ugly buildings give it a bit of charm! The most famous sights include the Grand Place, which (as the name suggests) is a grand place for a lot of things, such as:  gaping at the high buildings with their wonderful architecture,  strolling between the flower stands, taking pictures, and paying far too much for a meal.

And a trip to Brussels wouldn’t be complete without paying a visit to its most famous citizen: the Manneken Pis. 

You don’t need to be able to speak the language to understand that one – it’s exactly what it sounds like. One of the most famous things in Brussels is a statue of a little boy peeing into a fountain. The reason as to why or how the statue got there are varied (some say it was a tribute to the boy who saved the city of Brussels from a fire by peeing on it to put it out.) But the exact origin isn’t very clear. 

It’s popularity, however, is clear to see as it is crowded with photo-taking tourists most of the day. But the Manneken Pis need not feel lonely because there are the less-known peeing dog statue and the hard-to-find peeing girl statue both hidden throughout the city. We of course found both. And with the help of our couchsurfer host, we also managed to find a 2 liter mojito and some pretty tasty Belgian beer! 

We liked Brussels so much that we decided to stay in Belgium longer and took a trip to the fairytale city of Brugge – Belgium’s answer to Venice. Home to canals, old buildings, cobblestone streets and a coagulated vile of Jesus’ blood, Brugge was very beautiful. I’m sure it would have only been better if it hadn’t been pouring down rain for most of our stay. 

I’m thankful for our new opal corsa that we rented so we could      come and go as we pleased.

After 4 days, 3 nights, 2 orders of Belgian fries, and 1 giant waffel, it’s time to start the road trip version of the trip. To ZURICH or bust!  

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