lørdag, oktober 22, 2005

Weekend in Europe, Part 2: Brussels





The weekend after Paris, I was in Brussels. A short weekend this time - I arrived on Saturday morning, and left Sunday late afternoon. My purpose was primarily to spend time with a friend who was in the middle of an interpreting traineeship at the European Parliament, but of course we also saw the sights, ate some chocolate (most of which was far too sweet for my taste, sad to say), went out for a wonderful meal, and generally had a good time.

Brussels is in no way as big as Paris, or as exciting, but it's a cute town. My camera was almost out of battery (I couldn't find the charger after my Parisian adventure), so I took a total of only 7 pictures. Here are a select few of them. Two (I'll leave it to you all to decide which two) are of the Grand Place, which is the main square, as well as one of the main tourist magnets. The details on all of the buildings in the square is fantastic. The gentleman in the foreground of the lower of these two pictures, wearing the black coat and facing away from us, is the friend I was visiting. He's just passed the exams needed to be an official EU interpreter, and is thus extremely happy. He also reads this blog, so let's now everybody say along with me, 'Congratulations, David!' O.K., he interprets into French from, among other languages, Danish, so now let's do it in Danish, 'Tillykke David!' Thank you for your heartfelt participation.

The other main tourist attraction is, of course, Manneken Pis. Before I came to Europe, I had no idea that the symbol of Brussels was a statue of a little boy peeing. Now, I know, and can offer photographic proof. It was especially nice to see a major European 'landmark' that was so much littler than the Little Mermaid. The best part was the chocolate shop window overlooking the statue, with its chocolate Mannekin Pis. Please note that the chocolate boy and the statue boy are exactly the same size, and are positioned almost next to each other.

Hmmm...now, I'm off to plan another weekend in Europe, so that there can be a part 3!

12 kommentarer:

Leslie sagde ...

There's a chocolate statue of a naked boy? Now you can't blame us Americans for making fun of Europeans. (I wonder which part of the statue one would want to bite first?)

I agree, there IS a such thing as chocolate that is too sweet. Lately I've been feeling that way about milk chocolate, which is sad because it's been my bestfriend once a month for my whole life. Ironically, some of my most favorite foods were foods I swore off as a child, and dark chocolate is on that list. I just love dark chocolate now. It's so very sensuous and has just the right amount of sweet and bitter.

Anonym sagde ...

David was delighted to read the blog!!! thank you for the great restaurant in Brussels, it cheered me up!

kimananda sagde ...

Leslie - well, in defense of the Europeans, the non-chocolate statue is the tourist attraction. The chocolate statue is just extremely good marketing. As for which part of the statue to eat first, I would use the same rule as I use for any cookie, candy, or other food shaped like a living creature - head first. That way, it won't suffer needlessly. And, speaking of dark chocolate, the one thing I did find in Brussels was some 99.9% dark chocolate. I will have to go get some before I can write any more!

David, erm, I mean anonymous. Yes, it was a great restaurant, wasn't it? I'm glad you enjoyed it as well.

Chibithulhu sagde ...

Chibithulhu wishes he could pee chocolate.

Daphnewood sagde ...

Congratulations, David! Tillykke David!

a statue of a little boy peeing should be my family crest. I just cleaned bathrooms this weekend and my little boys would make Brussels proud. So where to next? I love that I have a front row seat to Europe through your blog

Sangroncito sagde ...

You are lucky to live in Europe.

kimananda sagde ...

Chibithulhu - I must say, apart from going back to your original size, the scariest thing that you could possibly do would be to start peeing chocolate.

Daphnewood - your comments make me laugh! :-) The thought of you cleaning up after your 'pissing boys' makes me cry. :-( As for my next destination, that will depend on ticket prices over Christmas. We also have time off in January (I love European vacation allotments), but so far no funding.

Sangroncito - I feel lucky to live in Europe. The funny thing is that I could have done the same kind of city hopping when I was still in the states, but just never did. The number of US cities I know is rather laughable. I suppose I'm just anecdotal evidence for the theory that you never play tourist in your own hometown.

Chibithulhu sagde ...

Chibithulhu would be more popular with the ladies if he could emit chocolate from various body parts.

portuguesa nova sagde ...

Lovely, lovely.

I was in Brussels once with our former French exchange student who lives in Lille. I was asking her some questions about chocolate while in a chocolate shop.

The employee got really pissed and said, "What are you doing asking HER about chocolate? I am zee Belgian!"

Vanessa sagde ...

Like Daphnewood, I enjoy having a front row seat to Europe through your blog.

But, I must admit that I am also very jealous.
I so want to travel Europe, and other than a lack of funding, one thing thats stopping me is that I can't devide where to go first! Ireland? Italy? France? Denmark? They're all calling to me.

Chibithulhu sagde ...

Chibithulhu would like to go to scotland, so he could cast his baleful gaze up Ewan McGregor's kilt

kimananda sagde ...

Chibithulhu - you are funny. :-) I went to Scotland a couple of years ago, but Ewan McGregor wasn't there. Maybe he would be impressed too if you had chocolate coming out of your various orifices?

Portuguesa Nova - that is too funny. I spent the whole weekend waiting for someone to comment on my friend's French (as in from France) accent, but if they did, I didn't catch it.

Vanessa - Denmark first, so I can get crochet lessons, right? ;-) And remember my big secret for European travel - live in Europe. If I were still in the states, I'd be arguing with my partner about if we could go to Portland or Disneyland. Here it's whether we are going to Prague or Vienna (Prague wins, by the way, for Christmas) - it sounds more exotic, but the distances are the same.