Friday, July 14, 2006

Brussels ...

I love having guests, each new person gifts some new thing in the places I live ... it's always been that way and ML and Al have been no exception. Yesterday I saw Brussels in a new way.

We began at the famous Atomium . You haven't heard of the Atomium well ... it was designed by the engineer André Waterkeyn for the International Exhibition of Brussels back in 1958. The Atomium is a structure that is half way between sculpture and architecture, symbolising a crystal molecule of metal by the scale of its atoms, magnified 165 billion times.

It's an impressive wee place, with a restaurant at the top of the 335 foot high structure. The spheres have a diameter of 59.0 ft and weigh 2400 tons ...

Photographs taken, we caught the metro into the city, abandoning our car in a shady place because the temperature was once again in the high 20's. We wandered in Grote Markt where I harassed street musicians with my camera ... I've taken to unashamedly asking for peoples email addresses after photographing them. No one has yet mistaken me for a stalker.

We ate on Kaasmarkt, in one of the many Greek restaurants lining the back street, eating Gyros (otherwise known as Döner kebab in that other life that I lived). I do believe that Döner kebab is a meat I could eat endlessly ... it was good.

Gert took us to a small pub called La Becasse where we each tried a different Brussels beer. A Lambic and two fruit beers(as in a cherry and a raspberry beer) ... lovely on a really hot day and so tucked away that it doesn't seem to have become a regular on the tourist beat.

We introduced ML to Manneken Pis but of course. No visit to Brussels is complete without a visit to the famous statue of a little boy peeing in a fountain. It's supposedly the perfect representative of the irreverent Belgian humor ...a unique Brussels icon has been amusing visitors since 1619.

Personally, I think the co-called irreverent humour of the Belgians is now directed at hapless immigrants wanting into the country ... but that's a whole other story.

I had written to expat friends located in Brussels, warning them of our planned invasion ... Shannon had a horrendous study deadline but Alison and Andrew were still in the relax and recovery mode after their trip home to Canada and invited us in for dinner.

After riding the infamous Brussels Ring Road for a while (traffic-jam style), we arrived and were poured a selection of drinks. The deck chairs were set up outside and we caught up on a month's worth of news. I'm sure ML considered jumping ship after experiencing their warm Canadian hospitality ... we left around 10pm, full of good food and wine.

Ahhhh, the expat life .. there's nothing quite like it sometimes. (And no, you may not quote me my writings from the winter).

Postscript: Gert is responsible for the entirely sexy photograph of our beers in La Becasse.


Dobermann said...

Oh, you're having so much fun ALL THE TIME now! I'm almost jealous, only almost because I don't have time since I'm watching your photos! lol

woman wandering said...

Lol, you made me laugh out loud doberman. Does it help you to know that I'm truly exhausted?

We've moved the Brugge trip to tomorrow and I have Amsterdam next week ... let's see how that goes.

Anyway, I'm glad you're finding ways to enjoy coming with us. :)

Dobermann said...

I'm stuck here and would like to do some traveling. I might have to strike back and do a little trip around south-west Finland in august and post pics! HAH! ;)

I love reading and looking the photos from your trips around there.

So, you've had so much fun you're exhausted? Oh, you deserve it since they're messing with you at the immigration..

woman wandering said...

South-west Finland ... yes please, do it and post about it :)

Immigration ... bleh. On the bright side, I guess I wouldn't be free to travel had they been nice to me.

wandering-woman said...


You found a bright side! (to them not being nice to you...)
And tell Gert the beer photo really is very sexy. I have two Belgian bottles in my fridge: Leffe brown and Leffe blonde. Kristien gifts. Does he wish to recommend glass shape for serving? Food to go with? Hmmm?

woman wandering said...

Gert said ... 'Search google for the glass shape' and that 'Leffe Brown is best with some kind of stew or beef type dish which Leffe Blonde is more for chicken or rabbit dishes.

I typed as he spoke, I don't think he dared imagine me writing up his glass-shape description. :)

Leffe Blonde and images in google will give you '16,000' photos with the glass shape.