When visiting Brussels, a must...
When visiting Brussels, a must is to stroll around at night time. Everything is lit up well, making the buildings look absolutley stunning at night. People are all about at night, and we saw this one woman juggling flames in the middle of a street. My best memory of Brussels was when me and my girlfriend went to the National Park (Garden?). We got there, and it ended up raining really hard, so we were stuck underneath some trees for a while, seeking shelter (don't worry, Europe never really has lightening storms, it just drizzles or pours rain)After awhile, we got tired of waiting for the rain to calm down, so we ran like a kilometer to our hotel. It was a really romantic thing, being stuck in the rain in that beautiful park....i'm clueless as to why I took no pictures of the park. The park is across the street from the Royal Palace.
Go to the Grand Place day or...
Go to the Grand Place day or night! This square is arguably Europe's most ornate. The soaring lines of the Gothic Town Hall dominate one side, in contrast with the elaborately decorated Baroque guild halls that surround it. There's a daily flower market, a bird market on Sunday morning, and frequent musical performances. It was great the day we were there as there were many Scottish still in town from the World Cup game. They were crazy but fun.....but best of all they spoke English!
The European Capital
Officially, The EU does not have a capital, but its most important institutions have their head quarters or a significant par of their services in Brussels. Thus, several buildings scattered all around Brussels accommodate the different services needed to manage such a complex organisation that the European Union is (Only the European Commission occupies 61 whole buildings in Brussels – mostly around Shuman square, near the Jubilee Park). Numerous diplomatic representations, lobbying institutions and law firms specialised in European affairs are hosted in this neighborhood too. That is why the EU and Brussels are indissociable, to such an extent that, outside of Belgium, Brussels is often used as a synonymous of the EU.
And yet, for many, this association with the EU has not but unfavourable connotations. Many, particularly in the Anglo-saxon world, identify Brussels with an army of high spending, boring bureaucrats running around while they figure out new useless regulations on the size and shape of cucumbers. Others even complain that these brief-case-totting officials and their big salaries have pushed prices up in an inadmissible way.
All this, however, has little of reality. The EU's colourful staff and the itinerant army of journalists and politicians who constantly meet here are not only what make the city unique. The EU is also vital for the economy of Brussels. With tenths of thousands of people working directly or indirectly in its institutions, it is, with difference, the biggest source of work in the city (According to a recent study by the ULB, the presence of the European institutions generates 92,000 jobs, which account for 12.7 % of the total employment in the region).
And yes, even with all these people from all across the continent, Brussels remains one of the cheapest cities in Western Europe. Enjoying one of the hundreds of locally brewed beer with a cone of the famous twice-fried local frites is still affordable even for the visitors on the tightest budget.
This is Brussels!
A city packed with great, ancient architectures.. either impressive, either cute...
On the picture, the Palais de Justice dans toute sa splendeur. The picture was taken by irisbe during a hot summer. Looking at it, it may have been one of unusual perspectives on the building. An argue with a friend who is an architect. I used to say when passing near the Palais de justice that it reminded me of the hugeness of Indian palaces... The argue used to start there because he couldn't help but shouting "No, it is a Greek inspired architecture". I knew that and I knew too he was going to insist on its "resemblance" with Greek palaces. So, it's always nice to say such things in front of purists... pretty fun!
Prolly my favourite of the biggest buildings in Brussels... big, impressive yet beautiful... I like it! For me, this is even nicer than Palais Royal. Check pic 2
MUSIC & LIGHT SHOW...
Check out the music & light show at the Grand-Place...
Between April and September (and sometimes in December) the town square and its buildings are illuminated at night to the rythm of classical music!
There are two sessions lasting 15 minutes each night (at 9.30pm and 10.15pm or 11.15pm, depending on the sunset).