Thursday, May 5, 2016
Brussels is famous for many things: it's the capital of Belgium, NATO and EU headquarters, french fries, and Jean Claud van Damme's muscles. It is also home to one of Europe's most beautiful squares. One of the most famous attractions, if not the most famous, is a statue that pees, aptly named Manneken Pis. Foreign leaders and dignitaries bring offerings of costumes for the statue, so it wears something different everyday. Unfortunately for us, we visited Brussels on a day that was barely above freezing and rainy. We saw the Manneken Pis, which was understandably a little underwhelming considering how small it is. We then got waffles and headed toward the Grand Place square which was voted the most beautiful European square in 2010. While the beauty was certainly grand it was difficult for us to appreciate it given how wet and cold we were. We ended up going to the museum on the Grand Place, the Brussels City Museum, in an attempt to get out of the disagreeable weather conditions. Inside the museum was some art, Brussels city histories, and a lot of Manneken Pis costumes from all over the world and different time periods.
After that we hiked up to the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral and the Royal Palace. On our way back to the city center we made it into a bizarre alley-way filled with restaurants and over-zealous Maitre d's. It had a very creepy and touristy-trappy vibe to it. We made it out and found a place to get some beers and hang out until dinner time. We met one of Dr. Husband's college friends for dinner at a nice restaurant (La Paon Royal) where I had some lovely beef tartar and red wine. After dinner we grabbed a drink or two and saw St. Catherines Church before our train to Bruges.