After a few days in Amsterdam, we packed up and drove to Brussels, Belgium! Everyone took a quick nap then we walked outside to catch the tram into the old town center.
The Grand Place is Brussels' main square and the city's best sight. The town hall (in the photo above) has the square's tallest spire and serves as the centerpiece. Also on the square, in the photo below, is the City Museum which is housed in the King's House.
The square served as the town's market for 1000 years. Today, shops continue that tradition.The best part of the Grand Place? The square is lined with chocolate shops. Godiva, Neuhaus, Galler, and Leonidas all have stores ringing the plaza. Heck yes.
The Evans Family in the Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday April 15th 2015.
Big ol' golden statue.
Leaving the Grand Place we passed through the park-like Agora square, named after the markets of ancient Greece.
The term "shopping-mall" doesn't really do this place justice. You won't find any GAPs or H&Ms. Instead you'll find hat, cane, umbrella, and chocolate stores, along with bespoke shoemakers, lace shops, and some cafes.
Just off the Grand Place is a brass statue of a reclining man, Mayor Evrard't Serclase, who in 1356 bravely refused to surrender the keys of the city to invaders and so he was tortured and killed. Touch him and his misfortune becomes your good luck. Judging by the reverence that locals treat this ritual, there might just be something to it. Here's hoping my dream comes true!
Well, after all that walking (and chocolate eating) it was waffle time! We found a stand that had a nice long line (it must be good!) and got some waffles. The plain waffle was only 1 euro then you could add on a wide array of toppings: caramel, chocolate, nutella, cream, strawberries, banana, kiwi, etc.
The statue even dresses up for special occasions. A sign nearby lists the festival days and how he'll be dressed. For example, on Jan. 8, Elvis Presley's birthday, he'll be an Elvis impersonator.
Leaving behind the watery-tyke, we headed up to the Upper Town.
The Palace of Justice was covered in scaffolding.
FYI, this is what the main square looks like during a festival and when the pretty buildings at the opposite end aren't covered in scaffolding like they were when we went (though there wasn't scaffolding on the left buildings like there is here.... dang scaffolding, grrr :)
Then we walked back to where we started and took the tram back to our apartment, full of fries, chocolate, and waffles. Yum, yum, and yum.