30 September 2019
We booked a cycling tour for the morning and were so pleased the r*#n had stopped, and the skies were blue. For now!
Our tour guide, Maria, met our small group in the Grand Place.
She pointed out the lack of symmetry in the Town Hall that we hadn’t noticed earlier. The tower is not in the middle, the windows on the second level are different on one side to the other, the door isn’t centred below the windows. The original building (to the left of the tower) was extended years later and the tower added. A case of not enough space left to make it all symmetrical.
The Guild halls sparkled in the sun and looked a picture! ( or several)
We collected our bikes and off we went.
We hooted over the cobblestones from the old part of the town to the new, mixing it with the cars and buses sans helmet! Cyclists seem to be much more highly regarded in Europe, and the towns are much better equipped to deal with them: from huge bike parking stations, to cycleways and bike-specific traffic lights.
The newer part of town was where the EU Parliament buildings are found, and we spent some time in this area trying to get our head around how it all works.
Interestingly during our time in Brussels we saw heaps of fully armed military and police presence on the streets, but not around the Parliamentary area. Perhaps the Pollies weren’t sitting today.
One of Brussels’ most beautiful buildings, the Palais de Justice is jokingly know as the “Palais de Scaffolding”. It’s been hidden behind scaffold now for over 37 years! Some say it may be actually now holding the building up!!
The best find of the day , however would have to be our lunch stop. A friterie (or Belgian chip shop)!
Omg! So good!
Another gastronomic delight that we had avoided until this morning was the Belgian Waffles. People were queuing to get them and the topping choices were amazing. I eventually opted for the basic one, not expecting the two huge dollops of whipped cream. Grahame was a bit more extravagant and had chocolate sauce and ice cream. The coffee?? Shite!!
Oh and there’s chocolate too!! Lots and lots and lots of chocolate .
Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of beer!
After a beer or two, Grahame started seeing weird stuff!
Time to go “home”.