|Brussels City Hall|
I made my first trip outside of Spain this past weekend to Brussels, Belgium. I went into the trip with no expectations partially because I knew very little about Belgium before the trip. I knew they were supposed to have good chocolate. I also knew that they are supposed to have good waffles, mussels, french fries, and beer. Essentially, I knew about their food. I also knew that I
like LOVE chocolate and therefore the trip couldn't be a total bust. The trip turned out to be more than I could have ever hoped for.
We started off Saturday night at a bar that has over 2000 beers on tap. That is not a typo. I know this is probably a big shock, but I am not actually familiar with 2000+ different beers. Luckily, the bartenders were really helpful at listening and choosing the perfect beer for each customer. I thought about trying all 2000+ beers that night, but figured that might be a little expensive and decided to just have a few instead.
I should note that Belgium does deserve the respect that it has for all of the food/drink items that I listed above. I should know; my friends and I sampled everything. Upon our arrival to the city on Friday night, we checked into our hotel and picked up some fresh chocolate covered waffles on our way to a bar with some new friends that we met on the plane. The waffles were great and the beer was too, but I think our time dancing at the bar/club was the best part of the night. We learned that night that Belgians love Americans, which was a really nice change of pace. Despite their love of Americans, they are very shy when it comes to actually saying anything to American girls; therefore, our friend John was pretty occupied talking for most of the night talking to Belgians about his American female friends. We also learned that most people don't really dance. Despite this knowledge, we formed a little circle and got our groove on to mostly American music and a little Spanish music as well. Ironically, they seem to play more Spanish music in Belgium than in Spain.
On Saturday, we explored the city of Brussels. I saw some amazing architecture throughout the city, but was impressed the most by the buildings in the Grand Place which contained the Brussels City Hall, a beautiful building with perfectly done gold details. After the Grand Place, my friends and I went in search of Manneken Pis, a statue that the people of Brussels seem to take a lot of pride in. It's a little odd, but the statue is of a naked little boy urinating. This statue is on almost every postcard for the city and is even dressed up in different outfits throughout the year. Unfortunately, he was not dressed up when I viewed the statue so I saw a little more than I had hoped to. The statue was also a lot smaller than I had anticipated; it was about the size of a garden gnome. It made me really question how or why this is what has become the face of Brussels. The city has much more impressive works of art.
Chocolate-making in Belgium is considered a form of art; the chocolates are all decorated and shaped in very intricate ways that are nothing shy of extraordinary. I can attest to the taste of the chocolate as well. It was the best chocolate that I have ever had, which is really saying something considering I've definitely had my fair share of chocolate in my short 20 years of life.
On our last day, we visited the Atomium, a piece of art that is made up of giant silver balls that you can go in to see great views of the entire city. It was actually part of the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels. I only went into the highest ball, but you can go into all of the balls if you want. In my opinion, one ball was plenty. Not to be immature, but between the Mannekin Pis and the Atomium, I think Freud would have a lot to say.
Brussels was amazing and has made me even more excited for what lies ahead. I still love Bilbao despite its constant rain lately. I hope all is well for everyone! Until next time... ¡Adios!