A few days ago, going back to the pictures of my trip to Amsterdam, I realized that I have not yet written a blog post on Belgium, the magical wonderland of chocolate. So now, I would like to do a little throw back thursday post on Brussels!
Brussels is a quiet town that you can see everything in just one day. I stayed overnight on my way back to Paris from Amsterdam. I chose to take buses to come back, which was a lot cheaper, and I didn’t mind because each trip was only three hours (Amsterdam – Brussels and then Brussels – Paris), and each only costed 10 euros!
It’s easy to finish seeing everything in Brussels because of the size of the city. The first attraction I visited was, of course, the Grand-Place. Unfortunately, I missed the big carpet of flower that Brussels has in the center of Grand-Palace only once two years by just a few days! However, all the old architectures surrounding the square is very worth seeing and hopping into. I liked the square because it’s not too touristic and not too packed, it is well decorated in every corner, so you can enjoy it from every angle.
Next, I walked through a street full of waffle shops to get to the Manneken Pis. I couldn’t hold but to get a waffle.
WARNING: IF YOU ARE ALREADY UP TO THIS PART, KEEP READING!
All the waffle shops had a 1euro sign out the door with a little waffle just under the price. I don’t know if it was me or anything, I automatically assumed that all waffles are one euro. I walked into a waffle shop, and saw a bigger menu on the wall with waffles of different toppings, but without the price on it. I see waffles with different flavors, toppings, frostings, sauces all lying in front of me waiting for me to order. The waffle lady rushes me and the grill smell rushes up my nose. I couldn’t help but to order the one with the most toppings: strawberries, bananas, melted chocolate and whipped cream. The waffle lady immediately made me a waffle with fresh waffle dough, and put all the toppings on it.
Finally, she said to me in a cold way: “Cinq euro s’il vous plaît. (Five Euros, please.)”
I said: “Ah quoi? J’ai pensé que c’est juste un euro! (Ah what? I thought it was one euro?)”
It was then I realized I was a little bit ripped off. I immediately saw another small menu on the corner of the wall, written in French, with the prices for different waffles. It’s only the plain waffles that are 1 euro! She didn’t even feel like responding to my shocking anymore as if she’s already been sick of telling tourists that only the plain ones are 1 euro. You can’t blame on the waffle shops because they aren’t ripping their customers off, but they are just doing business in an unethical way. They are not afraid of losing their customers, because 99% of them are tourists, and tourists wouldn’t come back anyway, and there will still be more and more tourists in the future.
But I have to admit that this was a good waffle. It was freshly made, grilled on the outside, and soft in the inside.
After getting energies from the sweets, I walked my way to Manneken Pis. There was a legend that this little two year old lord urinated on the countering troop when he was in a basket hung on a tree. The countering troop finally lost the battle and the lord had saved the city. This statue became famous also because of several other legends behind it. During different occasions and festivals, Manneken Pis would even be dressed up differently!
Next, I walked through a street of restaurants. The restaurants seemed very touristic. They would have waiters out asking if you speak English, and would give you special offer on your meal. It was kind of like Brick Lane in London where they have Indian restaurants having special offers for tourists. And then I came to Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, a long shopping hall full of chocolate stores, pâtisseries, and luxury brands. It reminds me of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan! I hopped into Corné to buy some chocolate, because their brand is very well known. I have been keeping them and didn’t want to eat it. Yesterday, when I opened the box of chocolate again after two months, a few of them were molded and turned bad!
I kept walking to St. Michael et St. Gudula Cathedral. This cathedral has a long history. Built in 1047, the church holds significant royal and religious weddings, ceremonies and funerals. This gothic style church is tall and narrow with a bright and clean façade.
The last stop was Palais Royal. As a royal palace, its very symmetrical design reinforces the grand and authoritative feeling. I didn’t get to go in, but I just walked around it to see it from the outside.
And there concludes my blog on Brussels! I hope you enjoyed!