Now when the busy Christmas season is over, I finally have the time to sit down and write a few words about our trip to Brussels back in November. Hubby and I travelled to Belgium for the awards ceremony of the .eu Web Awards and returned home with a prize!
But for us, the real prize was something else: having a trip together without the kids for the first time since they were born. We may have been gone for just 36 hours, but we did our best to enjoy every minute of it. (And we certainly tried our best in not writing my sister-in-law every hour for updates about the children!)
Below you’ll find some photos and stories from our short but sweet trip to the Belgian (and European) capital. Be warned: our sight-seeing was kept to a minimum, after all, this trip was supposed to be about relaxing not ticking off the must-see checklist! My checklist had just two items on it: Belgian fries and Belgian waffles.
The Royal Galleries
The luxurious Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert – Italian-style glazed shopping arcades – were likely the Brussels landmark that we saw the most frequently on our short trip. They were the shortest route between our hotel and the old town as well as the location of the Vaudeville Theatre where the awards ceremony took place.
I have never seen chocolate stores quite as mouthwatering as those housed in the Royal Galleries!
The Heart of the City
I had last been in Brussels back in 2005 and I had clearly forgotten quite a few things. Like the magnificence of the central square – the Grand Place – with its historic, gold-embossed facades. From the medieval Town Hall to the opulent Guildhalls, every single building on the square is a beautiful historic landmark. Like the rest of the city, also the Grand Place had donned Christmas decorations. Sadly we were two days too early to experience Brussels Christmas markets.
The Comic Strip Museum
On our second day, we woke up to blue skies and sunshine causing us to ditch our bad weather backup plan of visiting a museum or two. That said, we made an exception for a small museum that was just around the corner from our hotel: the Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée. Growing up, my better half was an avid comic strip reader and Belgium is the birth country of many famous comics. Checking out the museum devoted to them sounded like fun.
I enjoyed the exhibition and learned a new thing or two even if it did fail to answer my biggest question: why is this small country the birthplace of so many world-renown comics? I was surprised to discover that I’m more impressed not by the comic strips themselves but by the building that is their home. Dating back to 1906, it’s a steel and glass masterpiece of the famous Art Nouveau architect Victor Horta.
Taking the most scenic route
We spent the rest of our time in Brussels leisurely wandering the city’s sunny streets. Hand-in-hand, we followed the most picturesque streets not bothering to find landmarks or take photos. We stopped by a beautiful toy store to get small gifts for the kids, and soon it was time to pick up our bags and head to the airport.
The trip to Brussels was a perfect little getaway but I do have one regret. I never did get around to trying those waffles.
Perhaps Definitely next time!