Sunday, November 2, 2014

BELGIUM: SECOND DAY IN BRUSSELS


We spent our last day in Belgium visiting the places outside the city center of Brussels. We bought the metro card 24h (7€€) and we began with the Atomium, located near the metro (stop Heyzel). We arrived after a journey of 30min from Trône station. I had seen many pictures of it but I had no idea it was so large.

These are the places we visited in Brussels this day:

  • Atomium
  • Japanese Tower
  • Chinese Pavilion
  • Parc du Cinquantenaire
  • European Parliament
  • Leopold Park
  • Grand Place



Atomium in Brussels


Atomium in Brussels
Atomium in Brussels



After taking some pictures with the Atomium in the background, we entered the Laeken Park to visit the Chinese Pavilion and the Japanese Tower. We thought that they were not far away, but they actually were. After walking about 25 minutes we finally got close to these buildings.


Japanese Tower in Brussels



Japanese Tower in Brussels
Japanese Tower in Laeken Park in Brussels


Japanese Tower in Brussels
Another view of the Japanese Tower in Brussels



Chinese Pavilion



Chinese Pavilion in Brussels
The Chinese Pavilion is located beside the Japanese Tower in Brussels


Chinese Pavilion in Brussels
Detail of the Chinese Pavilion in Brussels



The place was solitary and I still doubt it was worth the time invested to see them, but at least they were beautiful. However that walk helped us to realize how big Laeken park is. There an International Expo was held, the first major international event in Europe after the Second World War. Nevertheless we would have caught the tramway if we had known that there was a stop near (Araucaria).

After the 25min walk back to Heyzel station we went to Parc du Cinquantenaire. From one end of the park there is an arcade, which is accessed from the military museum, from which you can get an overview of the park and nearby buildings of Brussels. It's important to know that this viewpoint is closed from 12am to 1pm. Our last visit of the trip was to the European Parliament and the Leopold Park next to it.


Parc du Cinquantenaire



Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels
From this arcade there is an interesting view of the Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels


Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels
Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels from the top of the arcade


Military museum in Brussels



Military museum in Brussels
Military museum in Brussels


European Parliament in Brussels



European Parliament in Brussels
European Parliament in Brussels


Leopold Park in Brussels


Leopold Park in Brussels
Trees in Leopold Park in Brussels




Before catching the train to the airport, we enjoyed a last waffle beside  the Manneken Pis and we walked around the Grand Place, the most beautiful place in Brussels.



Grand Place in Brussels
Maison du Roi on the Grand Place in Brussels




Grand Place in Brussels
Another view of the Grand Place in Brussels



Grand Place in Brussels
Main facade of the City Hall on the Grand Place of Brussels




Grand Place in Brussels
Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) in Brussels



Waffle with Strawberries
Waffle with Strawberries we enjoyed on the Grand Place in Brussels before leaving to the airport



Besides Ghent, in Belgium we visited the following places too:





Finally, other countries and cities I have already visited are:

Saturday, November 1, 2014

BELGIUM: BRUGES


We were lucky and this day was sunny again. At 9 am we took the train and at 10 am we were already in Bruges. Unlike Ghent, the old town of Bruges is closer to the train station (15min) and on the road there are nice places to visit. We enjoyed a lot strolling along canals and among trees with golden leaves. We discovered the park and lake Minnewater and a street full of chocolate shops. This walk ended beside the Church of Our Lady and the Hospital of Saint John.


Canal in Bruges
The first canal we saw in Bruges shortly after leaving the train station


As Ghent, Bruges is a really charming city with many memories of its medieval past. We enjoyed taking pictures in Minnewater park with the golden leaves of the trees in the background, walking through lively squares, along the canals and cobbled streets, sitting down in quiet corners beside the canals, stopping on bridges watching the tourist boats passing and admiring the Burg and Markt squares. Unlike Ghent I enjoyed the beautiful natural surroundings of Bruges, as much as the city itself, or even more.

From there, these are the places we visited:

  • Canals of Bruges
  • Minnewater Park and Swan Lake
  • Chocolateries
  • Hospital of Saint John
  • Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of our Lady)
  • Gruuthuse Palace
  • The most beautiful place in Bruges
  • RozenHoedKaai in Bruges
  • The most photographied place in Bruges
  • Burg Square
  • Markt Square
  • Belfort Tower


Canals of Bruges




Canal in Bruges
A canal among trees near the train station of Bruges. I really liked the promenade beside this canal under the trees


Minnewater park in Bruges



Minnewater Park in Bruges
Golden leaves of a tree in Minnewater Park in Bruges



Minnewater Park in Bruges
Walking through Minnewater park in Bruges


Minnewater Park in Bruges
Swans in Minnewater park in Bruges



Canal in Bruges
Canal in Bruges from a bridge beside a entrance to the Begijnhof



Chocolateries



Chocolaterie in Bruges
Chocolates in the window of a chocolaterie of Katelijnestraat in Bruges


Saint John Hospital



Saint John Hospital in Bruges
Sint Janshospitaal, or Saint John Hospital, in Bruges


Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk in Bruges
Belfry of Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of our Lady) in Bruges


Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk



Church of our Lady in Bruges
Apse and belfry of Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of our Lady) in Bruges


Gruuthuse Palace in Bruges



Gruuthuse Palace in Bruges
The smallest gothic in the world can be seen on the facade of Gruuthuse Palace in Bruges



The most beautiful place in Bruges



The most beautiful place in Bruges
 Beside the apse of Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk and Gruuthuse Palace in Bruges there is a small park from which you can see this canal


The most beautiful place in Bruges
It's said that this place is the most beautiful place in Bruges. I think it's a romantic place



The most beautiful place in Bruges
Wooden house seen from the small park beside the apse of Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk 


RozenHoedKaai in Bruges



RozenHoedKaai in Bruges
On the right, the RozenHoedKaai in Bruges



Belfort in Bruges from RozenHoedKaai
Belfort tower in Bruges from RozenHoedKaai. It's said that this is the most photographied place in Bruges


Huidenvettersplein in Bruges



Huidenvettersplein in Bruges
Huidenvettersplein in Bruges


Huidenvettersplein in Bruges
Two lions hold up the coat of arms of the tanners on Huidenvettersplein in Bruges



Blinde Ezel-Straat in Bruges



Blinde Ezel-Straat in Bruges
On the left, Blinde Ezel-Straat leads to Burg square in Bruges


Belfort from Breidelstraat, a street which links Burg Square and Grote Markt


Burg square in Bruges



Burg square in Bruges
Stadhuis (city hall) of Bruges in Burg square


Grote Markt in Bruges



Grote Markt in Bruges
Grote Markt in Bruges



Grote Markt in Bruges
Colourful house on Grote Markt in Bruges


Grote Markt in Bruges
Belfort tower on Grote Markt square in Bruges


Belfort tower in Bruges
Belfort tower in Bruges from another point of view


Provincial Court of Bruges
Windows and flags on the facade of the Provincial Court of Bruges


Sint Amandstraat in Bruges
Sint Amandstraat from Grote Markt is a street with a lot of restaurants


At 3am we stopped to eat in a restaurant of Sint Amandstraat next to the Grote Markt. The menu: potage du jour and chicken.

Luckily we had visited all the places we had planned because after leaving the restaurant the day was cloudy. At 5 am we took the train back to Brussels. We bought something to dinner in a Carrefour supermarket and we had dinner quietly in our apartment: tomato and mozzarella salad, tajine of couscous and some fruit.


Besides Ghent, in Belgium we visited the following places too:




Finally, other countries and cities I have already visited are: