Brussels and Belgium Waffles

About the Photo Above: Wandering the Streets of Brussels
I love to wander; it is the first thing I do when arriving in a new place. I just grab my camera and armed with a traditional, old-school map, begin wandering around. The map is just for backup and has my hostel or hotel marked on it so I can get back. This was just one of the wonderful streets I wandered along in downtown Brussels.

Brussel Sprouts and Belgium Waffles
I went to several fruit and veggie markets along the streets because I was curious if Brussel sprouts were sold and if, by chance, they were different. Although I found the typical assortment of vegetables, I never did find Brussels sprouts. I ask a few locals and they told me, “they are not in season right now.” Next I began looking for Belgium waffles and I found several shops dedicated to selling them down near the central plaza. It looked more like a tourist thing, but I had to try one. I paid 5 euros for a waffle topped with bananas, whip cream and chocolate (around $5.50) and tried not to make a mess as I ate the yummy creation. I was told the waffles are not a breakfast food in Brussels, but rather a desert or snack item. After eating one, I’d definitely say they fit into the treat category!

Overcast Weather
As soon as I hit Lyon, France, it seems most days in Europe have been overcast and grey reminding me of what I had been told about London’s climate. Almost everyone I’ve ask has told me, “this is not our normal weather.” But, for whatever reason, it seams all of the cities I’ve visited since have been filled with days of drizzle, grey, and half-power sunlight. On the flip side, everything has been remarkably green and I now feel prepared for visiting England.

Understanding Gothic Architecture
Personally I’m obsessed with mid-century modern architecture and its clean, sleek lines which is built heavily on principles of minimalism. To me, the gothic architecture is something almost polar opposite. I simply can’t comprehend it as it appears to me to be an attempt to get as many small things as you can in a tight, compact space and give you the feeling that if the building were miniaturized it could be used for fishing due to all the barbs and hooks. What was is going on with the style and the attempt to add so much decor to a structure? Brussels had its fair share of these building in both churches and government buildings. If you feel you understand the goals of gothic architecture, feel free to give me some feedback!

My European Travel Map
Want to see where I’ve been in Europe and where I am now? Check out my map of European travels).

Hostels: $20-30/night. I managed to find a hostel for $20/night.
Food: It was much cheaper in Brussels than France. I was able to eat out most meals with sandwiches. I paid 5 euros for a belgium waffle with toppings (about $5.50)
Transportation: I walked everywhere, but the tram was $2/ride

Next: Cologne, Germany

Regal Buildings Everywhere

It seems you have to walk only two or three blocks in central Brussels before you round a corner to see yet another big regal building. This one might have been a library or opera, or a government building.

Football Obsession

Soccer balls were everywhere. Outside of the USA, Soccer is referred to as football and everyone calls the NFL “American football.” For about three of four weeks Europe and Latin America are obsessed with the world football championships.

Central Plaza

Most of the buildings in the central plaza were decorated with gold trim. I’m guessing it is not real gold, but rather metallic paint. But still, it was very pretty!

Central Plaza Again

The other side of the central plaza which was lined by cafes and had a flower market in the middle.

Gothic Church

There is a large gothic church on one side of the central plaza. The detail above the main door is fantastic with miniature statues of various saints.

Gothic Detail

I love the drain spouts which look like dragons or gargoyles. The detail is incredible!

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