Wednesday, August 3, 2011

36 Hours in Brussels

"Hey, look! It's ..."

"Bela Delosi."

"Uh, no. I was thinking of Salvador Dali, actually. And his name's not 'Bela Delosi'--it's 'Bela Lugosi.' Sheesh! I guess you weren't a Bauhaus fan, huh?"

"That moustache was drawn on afterward. That's not Dali."

And so went one of many squabbles hashed out over street art in colorful, graffiti-filled Brussels. In 36 hours, we squeezed in a lot more than simple, inane conversation. Over the course of a day and a half, we:

  • drank tangy, slightly vinegar-y Lambic ale at a bustling beer joint

  • got invited to a party by a Rockabilly-styled, vintage-store-owning Scottish transplant
  • admired 20th century sculpture in a public garden

  • communed with a banded pigeon

  • rode public Villo bikes to a grand park inhabited by wild parakeets

  • ate really lousy falafel sandwiches at a kebab place just before discovering a veg falafel place around the corner

  • wandered around slippery cobbled alleyways without falling even once
  • scored treasures at the flea market in the Ixelles district

  • munched mediocre frites with the one vegan sauce out of 20 they had available: ketchup
  • pricked up our ears for street musicians playing the accordion, saxophone, guitar, and flute

  • sat at outdoor cafes and listened as the world passed by in Flemish, English, and French
  • accidentally meandered through the local housing projects

  • laughed while watching screaming passengers spinning on a manic, twirling Ferris wheel
  • enjoyed a deliciously spicy Thai dinner, and washed it down with excellent house wine
  • gazed at the fanciful facades of many a Gothic church
  • discovered Dr. Bronner’s soap actually does exist in Europe (at Belgian natural food stores, anyway)
  • bumped into the crowd gathered around Manneken Pis, even though we tried to avoid it
  • bought the best vegan chocolate on the planet, aka Ritter Sport bar Marzipan
  • picked up dog poo, earning ourselves the imagined "good visitor" award from locals
  • pretend-ate poison berries

  • stared up at a gargantuan model of an iron atom

  • moseyed about Chinatown, stealing furtive glances at outdoor diners' plates as we passed

  • sipped overpriced carrot-apple-ginger melanges from a juice-bar chain
  • missed our chance to laze about in the hotel sauna
  • watched a light show projected against the ancient buildings in the main square

  • vowed to haunt the Magritte museum the next time we visit

  • marveled at king-sized loaves of bread for sale at the very few bakeries we encountered
  • cuddled cute cars

  • experienced documentary film-making failure at Laeken Park (see below)


  1. Look at that dear little Fanny. The one in the basket, not the one on Jeff's rear.
    I am so glad you are posting your travels on line so we can enjoy your humor and fun times! Miss you guys

  2. Thanks for reading my humble little blog, Beth! We miss you guys, too. xoxox

  3. You are the cutest and the chicest poison berry pretender eater ever! Can't wait to be back home and see you soon:)

  4. Susa, can't wait to see you soon, too! We have travel tales to swap (and more!) xoxo


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.