06 Jan Belgium: The Beauty of Brussels (Day 6 & 7)
The moment we arrived at the metro station near our accommodation in Brussels, we found ourselves amongst the Islamic region which was to be honest kind of rowdy especially when they had the flea along the road. After going in a big circle with our backpacks, we finally found our way to Meininger hotel. The reason why we booked a hostel was because we had difficulty finding an airbnb accommodation in Brussels. The hostel turned out to be quite fabulous. A mixture of rustic & modern style, the accommodation lounge area was really cosy and the bar area in another room feels more arty with some art pieces & graffiti on the wall, a pool table and a jukebox.
And we found out that the hotel was formerly a brewery and was converted into a hotel with the idea to preserve the artworks that were exhibited. And that was why we saw some artwork along the stairs & walkway of the hotel. We had zero complains of the room for the price we paid. This reminds us we should keep Meininger hotels in mind other than apartments in future.
The free map made by locals is a keeper. The illustrations on the map made it interesting to look at. One of my favorite part of the map is the “Act like a local” portion. One of the pointers mentioned that was awesome…
Be yourself, especially if you’re weird. Acting cool may work in Paris but not in Brussels. The word ‘branché’ (trendy) is often used as criticism, but ‘à l’aise’ (easy-going) is something everybody wants to be and that real Brusseleirs truly are.
While trying to find the map online just to show how awesome & informative it looks, I stumbled upon the site that holds 30 over Europe city maps in similar illustrations. O.M.G! icon-heart Makes me want to visit all those places! Like why didn’t I find this before I went on the Europe tour sia?? Anyways, download maps here.
The only regret was that we only had 3 days in Belgium. Technically, we only had 2 and a half day cause we arrived Brussels in the late afternoon. So the first day was just roaming areas near our accommodation.
On day 7, E & A had their own plans to attend the 4-hour chocolate making tour which runs from early morning. I was more interested in walking about to go straight to the Comic Strip walk so we split ways to our own adventures haha. No beautiful gardens along the way but it was still a lovely & eye opening stroll to the main area where Grand Place Grote Markt was.
Grand Place Grote Markt
Rainbow amongst the darkness. There is hope.
The lopsided Town Hall.
The kind of window display I like.
Manneken Pis, the peeing boy statue in honor of the boy who broke the war from happening.
A little boy named Julianske happened to be spying on them as they were preparing. He urinated on the burning fuse and thus saved the city. There was at the time (middle of the 15th century, perhaps as early as 1388) a similar statue made of stone. The statue was stolen several times. – source via. wikipedia
And of course the famous Belgium waffles which cost 1€ for the plain square ones and 2€ onwards for additional toppings.
Alamak that tourist’s eyes.
I sucked at locating the Tintin murals. This is like the one and only I found.
Man this Chaplin guy, looks really sad.
This man on the other hand, totally enjoying his space doodling away. He kinda look like the statue eh?
Halfway through, we met up with the couple after their chocolate tour and were given tasting samples of chocolate they made themselves and the ones supposedly from famous shops. Damn chocolates were yummy even though I’m not someone who appreciates dark chocolate.
Moof Museum, where all the Smurfs & TinTin vinyl toys are.
I had abit of a bad memory at the Moof Museum. Due to my carelessness, I left the bag of freshly bought smurf vinyl toys to Wy which she didn’t see. The bag was gone in like barely 10mins. Had to waste money and buy another set of it. Bummer.
Despite that, the place will be a great place to visit for toy enthus. There were alot of toys to see man. Be warned there’ll be loads of toy pictures because I think it’s too awesome to keep it for personal viewing.
The smurf collection.
The tintin collection.
The sexy ladies collection.
Rue du Marché aux Herbes 116, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium.
Tues – Sun, 10am – 6pm | adults 8 €
The thought of our dinner on day 7 makes me want to faint in hunger. E & A‘s chocolate tour guide told them 2 great tips about looking for a restaurant that will most likely serve better food. First, skip the ones that keeps touting the customers which was what happened to us and other tourists. We witness one male server tout to the extent that his arms were hooked onto an elderly tourist. Good thing we look like the small fishes. Unlike the bigger fishes with a bigger wallet or something that became the main targets haha.
Secondly, the menus with all the mouth-watering pictures? Bluff… don’t be fooled. They have the “my food will speak for itself & not the pictures” mentality. So we saw this 2 long unit restaurant “Chez Léon” (Leon de Bruxelles) which fit the bill of the no-nos and decided to go for it.
The famous bucket of mussels soaked in white wine & stuff was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Initially the rest of us except E was like, we’ll just have a few pieces of it cause like we’ve had mussels before and it’s not like super awesome or something. Just a piece of chewy flesh. But man.. once we pop, we cannot stop. That shit was so fresh and tender, it was a whole enlightenment on mussels for us. Mostly we were shaking our heads in disbelief every single bite we take. The scallop in cream soup was also mind blowing. Bo kor leng eh taiji!1
1Bo kor leng eh taiji (the hokkien language) – This thing is impossible.
The only glass of beer we had in Belgium… we weaklings haha. It’s so obvious who was the hungry one below.
Chez Léon (Léon de Bruxelles)
Beenhouwersstraat 18, 1000 Brussel, Belgium.
Daily, 11.30am – 11pm
Brussels has been a really insightful city for us and we totally enjoyed it. We never thought that we will like it beyond our expectations. The experience in Amsterdam was hard to beat but Brussels did fall in nicely for our trip. Having said that, the highlight of the trip for me solely before the trip while we were planning the itinerary was Ghent in Belgium. While the rest was looking forward to romantic in Paris, I was really looking forward to check out the “Concrete Canvas Tour” which guides us to the streets of graffitis.
So this goes without saying that, in this post I had a number of pictures of toys? The next will have shitloads of street graffitis.
To be continued….