Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Weekend in Brussels – Home of Chocolate, Beer, Moules & Frites, Day 1

What is not to like!

We spend a weekend in Brussels, staying at the Renaissance across from the European Parliament buildings.  The high-speed Thalys Train up from Paris is only an hour and twenty minutes, straight to the Brussels Midi station, where we catch a local train to Gare du Luxembourg, next to the hotel (our train ticket from Paris provides the connection at no additional charge).  What a convenient way to arrive.

From the Renaissance, we walk all over the Brussels.  La Grand Place, the magnificent main square is about a 25 minute walk from the hotel, past the Royal Palace, Place Royal (Royal Square), and the museums, conveniently located on Rue du Musée.  And, we pass through a great small park by the museums, the Jardin du Monts des Arts, with a view of the Brussels Town Hall in the distance.

Jardin du Monts des Arts

At La Grand Place, we first settle at a café table outside in the square for a Belgium beer and to admire the buildings that make the La Grand Place a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

 Two beers in the square

But, very importantly, in some of those buildings are chocolate shops and they give free samples to enjoy while you watch chocolate being made in the back.  We wander from shop to shop, sample, and end up buying some also.

 Chocolate Shop windows

Of course, no discussion of Brussels is complete without a picture of the famous Manneken-Pis sculpture, in place since 1618 or 1619, a few hundred meters from La Grand Place.


But, this being Brussels, we also have it in Chocolate!

Manneken-Pis in Chocolate

This is turning out to be a great adventure and a perfect weekend jaunt!

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