Jan. 6: My day in Brussels got off to a slow start since I slept in pretty late. The first thing I did was walk to the Grand Place, with its shiny gold buildings. From there, I searched for some true Belgian waffles, and was not disappointed by my strawberry and Nutella waffle. I also saw the famous Manneken Pis, a little fountain of a boy peeing that the city is apparently known for. After that, I walked to the Royal Museum of the Arts, where for 3 euros I got to explore 3 different collections: modern, classics, and the Musée Magritte, which is dedicated to the artist Rene Magritte and was probably my favorite. After a few hours there, I walked down to Flagey in search of some fries, stopping to look around some stores on the way, and getting a coffee at a cute little cafe called JAT. Eventually, I found the fries place I was looking for, and got to try some amazing Belgian “frites” with Andalouse sauce. After that, I went to a bar called Moeder Lambic to try some Belgian craft beer, and then I went to Carrefour and got a sample pack of my favorite beer in the world that just so happens to be Belgian – Delirium!! They’re so hard to find in the US, but here they’re plentiful 🙂
Jan. 7: I woke up to snow falling, which although beautiful, meant it was also really cold and slippery outside. I made my way to the North Station, where I took a train to visit Bruges for the day! At first I was so cold I didn’t think I could make it out of the train station, but I finally mustered the courage and went to tour the brewery De Halve Maan, which has been brewing beers in Bruges since 1856. I learned all about malt, hops, and fermentation, got to see where it all happens, and finally got to try some of their unfiltered blonde brew. So good. The tour guide was also pretty entertaining and knowledgeable. Next I stopped by a chocolatier to get some gifts and try some chocolates myself, drank a nice, hot Belgian hot chocolate, and went to the center of the city to look around. After that, I did what I do best and wandered around aimlessly taking pictures and going up and down random streets. To finish my time in Bruges, I chilled at Sanseveria Bagelsalon, which was so cute and had dope bagels. Bruges was a cute little town, and visiting it was nice, although I bet if the weather had been nicer it would have been a better experience. It was raining pretty much all day, and I was actually freezing.
All in all, Brussels had some interesting art, some yummy foods and beer, but I don’t think it’s high on my “must go back to” list. I found it kind of boring and not all that interesting. One day to visit is enough. I also feel like you can get the “Belgian experience” just by visiting Bruges. One thing I did really like was my little Airbnb studio apartment in Brussels. It was in an old building, but newly renovated on the inside, so it was very comfortable and cool staying there, and felt very European 🙂 I’d love to live somewhere like that in the future. Airbnb’s really make you feel like you’re actually living in the city.