Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Brussels, Belgium

On our second day in Belgium we spent the day exploring Brussels.  Brussels is the capital of Belgium, and it's also the home to the European Union, so it's a very international city.  The "must see" attraction in Brussels is the "Grand Palace."  It's by far the prettiest central square in Europe.  Believe me…I've seen several of these city centers and the "Grand Palace" is one of the best.  Brussels is also home to one of the stupidest icons in all of Europe - the "Mannekin Pis."  This is a little statue of a boy peeing.  That's literally all it is, yet for some reason it's become an icon of the city.  Tourists flock to see it and take pictures.  The city even dresses the statue in different outfits throughout the year.  We were there during the World Cup, so that's why it's dressed in a soccer outfit (see below.)  Anyway, another thing we did was visit the Brussels Comic Museum, which pays homage to landmark comics like "Tintin," which originated in Brussels.  There are even "Tintin" murals scattered throughout the city on the sides of buildings.  Lastly, Ben and I added on final highlight to the trip.  Belgium was playing in the World Cup one night, so we went to a neighborhood watch party and watched some of the game.  It was a fun experience being surrounded by crazed Belgians all cheering on their team.  It was cool.  

Anyway, Belgium was our last trip of the whole European experience, and it was great.  We enjoyed the country, and it was fun hanging out with the McKeons for a couple of days.  

Bruges, Belgium

Right before we left Switzerland we flew up to Belgium for a quick weekend visit.  Jenny's longtime friend Amy and her family are currently staying in Brussels for a 5 week stay, so that was our main focus of the trip.

On our first day we took the train northwest to the town of Bruges.  Being close to the ocean Bruges is lined with canals.  In many ways it feels like Venice in Italy, only you're surrounded by medieval buildings.  We spent the day walking around the streets and exploring the city, but the best way to see Bruges is by boat.