Spring is the best season for city trips. I wanted to escape somewhere again, it was a holiday blues after great times as a couple in London. I chose Belgium for the two of us this time.
He drove and we (finally) arrived at a very, as it turned out, posh (somehow, French sounds posh and elegant to me.) and carpety hotel - Le Plaza Brussels. I would recommend to stay there, it is close to the city centre and the staff are friendly.
The highlight of the room was its spacious bathroom with a window and shower gel bottles smelling of pine. My partner and I put our bathroom utensils on the window sill. He used his own soap - Dove - which smelled divine. Taking this as a good example, I also started using soap bars in hotels, where possible.
As it was a long drive, with stop-and-go's in between, we both needed a refreshment. My second half disappeared in the bathroom, whilst I took a moment to walk down the stairs to the ground floor and explore. I discovered the bar, where we'd spend the first night, having drinks. Somehow, it was turning into a tradition (remember London). Definatelly worth mentioning - the hotel's own bar opposite the lobby - with well made cocktails and a painted vault ceiling. You will be in heaven.
First evening we headed out into the city, past a very neat square - Place Des Martyrs, first quick snap of the trip on the Rue Saint-Michel. The weather was great, as you can see, summer mood and a perfect start into our weekend together on that Thursday in May.
Best sight of Brussels to me was its central square - the Grand Place. Though I imagined it to be bigger before the travel, it was looking perfectly cosy in the golden sunset light, with beautiful roof tops, interesting architectural pieces and decorations. Europe, you are beautiful! Brussels is a(nother) visual proof. Stunning, after gold decorated facades. Apparently, back in the history, there was a facade competition for the first place to the most beautifully designed house-front in Brussels, this is how it came to all this beauty at the central square.
The Grand Place central square in the Belgian capital hosts beautiful Gothic and baroque architecture and has been the center of the city ever since 11th century. With attention to the detail, the Grand Place offers sculptures and facades to view at the top and a selection of cafes on the ground. At the heart of Brussels, the square is perfect to walk around and for those panoramic shots and selfies you may want to take. If you are traveling in August, check for dates for the flower time in Brussels. Grand place will be covered in a flower carpet display.
Check out my favourite: LE RENARD - the fox - on one of the buildings to the left of the city hall.
We found the "Sister" organic pub to stop at, with home brewed beer - some different flavours tasting got us into an even better mood. The cafe has got selections of cakes and juices for people, who prefer organic non-alcoholic treats. My partner started a conversation: "You promised to tell me in a month, what type of a man you want and what's your ideal relationship look like..." I was working on it, but not ready to share, so I felt confused, speechless and boring. I murmured something in return, which did not make much sense. Talk less, drink more and make him try out beers too, somehow the conversation would find its natural flow - I hoped.
Sampling beers reminded me of a Hamburger location called "Altes Maedchen" where you get a wooden tray with holders for baby beer glasses. It was similar in this Belgian brewery. Having finished the beer, we left the pub to walk on.
The maniken piss statue was our second stop.
We walked past some cool bars very close to the Grand Place - convenient combination of sights and people watching. I wished we'd follow the example of other tourists and stop for chocolates and waffles, or do you prefer French fries? In any case, all my tummy desired was there within our reach.
It got more and more atmospheric, and anarchy-like as our walk continued. We saw cool people and places, we were in a cool city decorated in cool art.
Brussels is famous for its street art, you can go graffiti hunting, fun time guaranteed. Get inspired and entertained! It feels like if you look long and close enough, images would talk to you - they have that depth and secretiveness to them, just like the metaphoric associative cards (they say, unconscious mind understands pictures better than words).
Whether you wanna go on a light or thorough street art hunt and see building walls painted with the comic adventures of Tin Tin and his dog Snowy, and much more - Brussels is home to a vast graffiti scene. Do not search long, look at the urbal culture maps already existing for street art fans. On your waz to the favourite and known pieces, you may find new drawings, less known but worth seeing for their beauty.
We spent our night at the hotel bar, as I mentioned. He ordered Whiskey Sour and I had something more fruity and sweet.
The fun continued on our way to the room - we ran a challenge up the stairs to our floor. My partner took the elevator, to be precise. What I did was dubious but I laughed so much: I ran alone and pressed the button on each floor as I passed so that he stopped 4 times before reaching the floor. After teasing him, I let him f*ck me. My light makeup - mascara and kayal - smeared on my eye-lids making me look like a charmer, like a witch. And what a witch I was - we had such an ecstatic night: it was just us, messed up bed linen and dimmed light. It was a night of discoveries, lots of lubricant and (just some) 'pegga'-fingering.
I can only write so about Blaine, there is some power and naughtiness and breaking of the rules in the air, that makes me do this.
OK, for those who continue reading even now, please join me and my partner on our tour through Brussels.
For those who like classical art, Brussels is full with museums. We visited one exhibition at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium Friday morning. The interior of the museum was an eye candy for symmetry lovers.
Have a break at the cafe at the rooftop of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, it is overlooking the city - enjoy the view.
Then stroll down Rue De la Regence to the Justice Square for an additional roof-top spot. You can carry on to the city wall then back up to the city centre, on your way you will find neat streets with quirky shops and street art hidden treasures.
Well, he wanted to go, so I agreed and we visited the must see place for Comics Art lovers, who would find themselves at home in a three storey "Musee belge de la bande designee". Entertaining for experts and newbies, the history of different comic types with illustrations, animations and artifacts is presented well. It opened up my eyes to the comics and I appreciate it for art now. Shop at the end - very small choice of the English comic books though. Across the shop, in the museum, head for a lovely retro style cafe - it is worth visiting. In that cafe he told me he wants to stay childless for the rest of his life. That was a frank statement. Nonetheless I did not give him anything in return nor did I tell him about my abortion.
The described above activities can be fitted into a 2-3 days weekend trip to the Belgian capital.
Brussels has got its own character which I cannot put in one word. It was not the most beautiful city I have ever been to, but I was so happy and excited to be there, that anything new seemed 100 times better to me that it was for real:
Place de Saite Catherine in the morning and its water well and our walk there through quiet streets with hidden churches,
the food at the fish restaurant BiaMara - delicious and on budget. Do not miss out on this one, it is good;
the English shop we found and the souvenirs I bought.
"We will always have Brussels", he joked hinting Rick Blaine's words from the movie Casablanca.
And we always will.