I’m back from my epic trip to Maastricht and Brussels;v; It was tiring, but exceptionally fun and awesome. I still have a stack of Maastricht photos to sort out, but I can’t wait to share my Brussels photos right now. Such a gorgeous, gorgeous city. It is the heart of Europe for a reason lol. Though I didn’t appreciate the fact that the streets were a whole lot dirtier and people seemed to speak worse English than in the Netherlands, the sights I saw, the foods I tasted, the experiences I had were simply amazing.
Getting to Brussels from Maastricht (or anywhere in the Netherlands) was easy. I simply paid 14.7 euro for my roundtrip ticket on http://www.b-europe.com/Travel, printed the receipt out, and hopped on the comfy trains (we had to transfer at Liege but it was a breeze).
Basically this is what our itinerary looked like: 5 destinations in one day seems a lot but actually it was really easy and relaxing. Everything was within walking distance so we didn’t have to use any public transport:
A: Brussels Central Station
B: Manneken Pis
D: Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula
E: Notre Dame du Sablon
F: Sablon neighborhood
Getting out of the station we were immediately greeted with this cool stuff:
The streets were suspiciously quiet and free of humans until we found our way to Manneken Pis–the famous landmark of Brussels (possibly the icon of the city), then surrounded by ~30 tourists. This ~400 year-old urinating little man has been the source of humiliation for thousands of tourists. We usually think that such a famous place must be awesome, or grand, or fabuloussss, but Manneken Pis is anything but the above. It is just a humble little (I mean little) bronze boi peeing. Because I had read a lot about him before (angry posts about him), I didn’t set my expectations high and eventually found him cute.
And yes he was dressed up for some event….
Our day started with a cute note but little did I know that I was in for some oomphhhhhh~
Yes, the UNESCO World heritage, the 2010 Best European Square, the amazing, splendid, majestic Grand-Place, surrounded by guildhalls, the city’s Town Hall, and the Breadhouse. Words and pictures can’t do this incredible Square justice, you have to see it for yourself.
The Town Hall:
Detail of the Town Hall:
You can have a beer in one of these restos…
Of course, this is yours truly~
Nobody should skip Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert–a gorgeous shopping arcade just a mere minute walk from Grand-Place:
You can find numerous chocolate & confectionary shops smelling like heaven there~
Our next stop, Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, was my favorite destination of the day. The construction began in the 11th century and was finished in the 15th, thus it was a perfect, seamless combination of Roman, Gothic, and Renaissance structure. It was mindblowingly magnificent with immaculate details and splendid atmosphere. A must-see place should you be in Brussels.
I got goosebumps the moment I saw it from afar:
The interior was, let me tell you, even more impressive. I am posting a truckload of photos now, so beware :P
I know I’m an idiot but does anyone happen to know what this wooden structure is called and its meaning?
And this one too:
The stained glass was extravagant ;____; I took picture of every single window for my father, but I will only share some here :P
Walking out of the Cathedral heavily mesmerized, we had to take a lazy stroll to fresh up a bit =}
We walked up Mont des Arts and could see Grand-Place from afar~
along with numerous cool buildings like this:
and saw Kerk Sint-Jacob-Op-Coudenberg:
The interior was less inspiring but the Church was still a beautiful piece of art~
Place Royale where it is situated is also an impressive area to wander around:
We grabbed some authentic Belgian waffles (2 euro plain; 2.5 euro chocolate) to revitalize our battered souls~
An easy stroll up the hill from Place Royale allowed us to see Notre Dame du Sablon:
And yes it was another incredible cathedral:
All these mind-boggling details~
And splendid interior:
Oh stained glass T______T
To give you a sense of how huge the cathedral was… (read, to show off my face):
Across from Notre Dame du Sablon is Jardin du Petit Sablon–a noble, green, calming, and relatively small garden.
The fountain was quite dirty but oh well~
From there you can take really pretty photos of the Notre Dame:
Awesome stuff up there don’t you think?
Opposite to the cathedral is Le Pain Quotidien a bright, cheerful cafe with beautiful looking pastries:
and lovely interior:
A break from all the walking and sightseeing and photo taking x)))
After a relaxing time at the cafe, we walked around Sablon for a bit and my friend did some chocolate-shopping:
I had a quick European dinner before leaving Brussels at 7.30pm~
Amazing fresh fries in a huge portion for 2.5 euro!
Bye Brussels, thanks for being fabulous. I, of course, will come back for more ;)