A Travellerspoint blog

Belgium Chocolate!

with a side of waffles please!


View World trip 2019 on mslaurajade's travel map.

Belgium!!

Mmmmmm chocolate! Waffles with chocolate!

I caught the bus to Belgium from Amsterdam. Still fascinated at the ease of moving from country to country without even realising it!

Along my morning exploration walk I sat in an arcade enjoying a coffee. I noticed signs to an Audrey Hepburn exhibition and decided to check it out. I have always liked Audrey, such elegance and beauty. My favourite movie of her’s is My Fair Lady. I have fond memories watching the movie as a little girl with my Nanna.
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The exhibition covered her films and awards obviously, but it was more focused on her early years and then her charity work in later life.
Audrey was born in Brussels in 1929 and spent her childhood between Belgium and the Netherlands, eventually moving to London in 1948 to pursue ballet.
A chorus girl on the west end, to Broadway and Hollywood film star. Audrey was one of the most awarded actresses in the mid 20th century with the following awards in a 15 year period (reactively short acting career)
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Audrey was decorated with many more awards and recognition for her work as a UNICEF ambassador and humanitarian.
The exhibition contained interviews with friends and colleagues who all commented on how humble she was and fame never took over her. They talked about her passion for human rights and passion to provide clean water and nutrition for children in 3rd world countries.
A wonderful collection of personal effects, memoirs and awards of a true lady both on and off screen.
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In the heart of the city there are 7 laneways that lead into a Grand Palace square, surrounded by stunning old architectural buildings and history.

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Once an open air market place in the late 11th century, it’s now on the UNESCO world heritage sites. The town hall and museum of Brussels are located here. Every 2 years the famous flower carpet is displayed here, unfortunately it's the even years so I didn’t see it but here’s an example picture from last years display. large_Brussels_floral_carpet_E.jpg

One can’t visit Brussels without seeing the macquin Pis, it's a small bronze statue of a boy taking a leak (literally translated from dutch is “little pisser”). Originally sculpted in 1619 but the original is in the museum of Brussels and the one we see today is a replica swapped out in 1965 for preservation. There’s even a costume schedule as the little pisser is dressed up several times a month. It’s a bit of hype and you can buy everything in the souvenir shops to match from T-shirts to bottle openers. It’s perhaps one of the most recognisable about Brussels (except for chocolate and waffles).
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The other is the Atomium. A large silver structure that looks like an atom, but what do I know? It’s actually an Iron crystal magnified on steroids. Constructed in 1958 for the work expo held here. The pods/domes on each arm contain exits and the top one is a restaurant with spectacular views over Brussels. Putting it simply it’s shiny and we all know I love shiny things!
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Today I'm off to Ghent, a city about 45 mins south east of Brussels. A gorgeous town! I took an audio tour of the Gravensteen castle, lovely views of the city. The ‘castle of the counts’ as it’s known was built-in 1180. It’s in magnificent condition and the tour is extensive as much of it is open to the public.
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The next stop is the Graslei on the bank of the Leie river, a spectacular view of buildings along the water. Many tour boats and cafes are here. A nice spot for lunch I think!
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Back on the train now but a lovely day in a beautiful town.

On my last day I visited the royal palace, the royals don’t actually reside here but it’s used for official functions. It’s in front of Brussels Park, another large (32 acres) public green space. Perhaps it’s parks now as well as the 15/16th century interior design that will be my calling…. I still think not.
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Close by the palace is 'Jardin du Mont des Arts' with a lovely garden, similar to the flower carpet but on a smaller scale! They are had an archway made of bicycles!
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Almost forgot about the chocolate! Delicious and I'm always a big fan of plain milk chocolate, certainly wasn't disappointed!

Well the excitement has been building and it's so close now I can almost taste it! I’m off to the UK and the spice girls!!!! Reliving my teenage years and can’t wait to belt out the tunes! Look out Lizzy I’m coming!
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Much love,
L xx

Posted by mslaurajade 05:27 Archived in Belgium Tagged bridges buildings trains chocolate ghent history travel belgium adventures blog waffles

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Comments

interesting read and I am glad you liked my country and the chocolate! :)

by Ils1976

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