Tuesday, August 01, 2006

BRUSSELS CAPITAL OF BELGIUM AND EUROPE

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Brussels Flag and signs

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On August 15, I went to Brussel center which is only about 17 km away from my home in Waterloo to take some pictures of this beautiful flower carpet, covering the place. It was a rainy day but inspite of the bad weather, I got the impression that half Japan, half Germany, half Britain and half Italy were looking at the beautiful flower carpet and were amazed about such beauty. Probably it was good for me that the weather was bad, otherwise I don't know how I could have taken photos there were so many people ! I think this year the flowers were petunias, as each time another flower is selected. Three turning stars were placed in the middle, as you can see on the second and third picture.

The Grand' Place is possibly one of the most beautiful squares in Europe and the jewel in Brussels' crown. The Grand-Place is Brussels' top tourist attraction justified by the Gothic magnificence of the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall) and the Baroque exuberance of the late seventeenth-century guildhouses surrounding the square.

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Guildhouses and the flower carpet

___________________________________________________ Hôtel de ville (Town Hall)

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Sunday artisanal market just before the "Grand' Place"

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Galerie St. Hubert or Galerie de la Reine (Queens Gallery)

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Inside the Gallery

___________________________________________________ Cafés and expensive shops inside the gallery

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Brussels' laces

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Entrance to the "Feeding Lane"

Around the "Grand Place" are plenty of small to very small streets where you can find one restaurant after the other. They call it also the "Feeding Lane" For every taste there is a restaurant and also the Restaurant "Chez Léon" which exists since ages and should have the best mussels in Brussels. Eating mussels with "frites" french fries is a must here during the mussel season. iThe little streets are very colorful and typical and there is a very old string puppets theatre with a bar. There you sit on wooden benches and watch the puppets playing for example during easter period religious plays. That's real folklore ! Walking through this quarter and you see all the wonderful artistical food displays you get or hungry or already full from looking !

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Restaurants one after the other with tables on the small streets

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Entrance to the String Puppets Theatre

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Janneke Piss, the "wife" of Manneke Piss,behind protecting grids, vandalism is everywhere

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Probably the smallest street in Brussels,between two restaurants, behind a woman cleaning her entrance.

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Little church near the Grand Place, where sometimes illigal immigrants are hosted, in order not to be expelled.

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The King's "office" the Palais Royale in Brussels, where every morning around 9 he starts to work. During summer season the palace is open to the public and therefore you can check if he is really working. The King Albert II, is very popular and is a very open, friendly man with a lot of humor !

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Tourist buses are very new to me, but shows that the town does a lot for tourists now.

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Palais de Justice, the court of Brussels, situated on a hill from where you have a beautiful overlook of whole Brussels. Long time ago, criminals used to be hanged here on the hill.

The rest of my pictures I put in an album it shows you streets and buildings, parcs. Brussels also is a very "green" town with a lot of beautiful parcs and the most important once are closed during week-ends for cars and people come here to have a pic-nic or just for taking some sunshine (if there is any)

In the Museum of Art you can find the most complete collection of fine art with works by, amongst many,Pieter Bruegel, Rubens, Delvaux and Magritte"

Jacques Brel, with his famous chansons, Audrey Hepburn, Hergé father of Tintin,Victor Horta architect, Jacky Ickx Formule 1 racing , René Magritte, painter , Peyo (Pierre Culliford), creator of the Smurfs,and Jean-Claude Van Damme, actor, nickname: "The Muscles from Brussels" were all born in Brussels.

The Atomium, built for the World's Fair of 1958, is in the "Heysel Park" and is considered as the sign of Brussels, such as Big Ben in London, Eiffel Tower ind Paris or the Statue of Liberty in New York.

Nearby is the sadly famous Heysel Stadium, where 39 people were killed, during a football match in May 29, 1985. Hooligans pushed against the wall of the Heysel Stadium so much that it collapsed and many people were trampled and injured mostly italian Juventus fans. The match was the final of the 1985 European Cup tournament between Liverpool FC from England and Juventus C from Italy.

Liverpool were later banned from all European competitions for six years and all other English clubs were banned for five years. The disaster has been called "the darkest hour in the history of the UEFA competitions.

I always remember this day when TV were interrupted to report about the disaster, awful pictures from the victims were shown in the news. The stadium were closed after that and rebuilt into a security high stadium and is now named King Baudouin Stadium, after King Baudouin who died in July 1993.

Brussels is a nice town to visit there is so much to see ! The typical Brussel people are very funny, plenty of spirit and humor and some of them mostly the elderly once still speek "brussels" which is a savurous language mixture of flemish and french with words impossible to translate but you can understand the meaning. The Theatre Toone with its string puppets is speaking this language and it's always so funny even if the play is a drama.

I hope you appreciated the flower carpet and the little explanation of Brussel, all the rest you want to know is probably written in every tourist guide. And don't forget the famous Belgian beers ! There are more than hundred different sorts ! Some of them with over 10 % alcohol, brown beer, brewed by monks. Attention to the headache next morning !

15 comments:

Mousie said...

I never saw Janneke piss, I like it . itwas unfair just to have a male!!!and when I went to see him years ago he was dressed as a scottish soldiers! your photos brought me back years ago, i was studying in lille and several times went to Brussels, there was a nice student hotel with gorgeous breakfast...i stopped in your blog and had a nice cool beer...
by the way my dear i dared come to a blog where french people were defeated!!!(lol) because i am no longer french i'm a true Plumpiemousian!!!want my passport???
see you thanks for the nice travel
Mousie

Connie and Rob said...

I so wish I could take one trip with you. Your pictures are just beautiful. Just jumping out of my chair to do a little shopping.

The flower carpet is just breathtaking.

Thanks so much for sharing.

Take care,
Connie

Moobear said...

That is just an awesome place Ingrid! The flowers just blow my mind, the beauty of them. The buildings are impressive. Much prettier in architecture than we have in the US. I enjoyed ALL the great pictures my friend.

God Bless!

mar said...

What a wonderful flower carpet, it's just awsome!!! beautiful virtual trip, loved it.

Sigrun said...

Hi Ingrid, das hast du toll gemacht. Ich hab grad mit Mr. Wonderful vor den Bildern gesessen und ihn gefragt: Wo ist das? Er sah den Bus und sagte: York.
Aber dann wußte er gleich, wo es ist, wir haben nämlich 2003 eineTour durch Brüssel gemacht, mit einer Gruppe. Der Platz, Die Restaurants, die Passage, das hab ich alles auch auf Bildern!

Sigrun

RennyBA said...

What a impression, readable, informative post about Brussels! The pics was great too and the movee at the end was great.
I was in Brussels 8 years ago and recognise a lot of places - thanks for sharing!
Have a lovely end to your week:-)

Sonia said...

Wow! What a beautiful photos and amazing reportage! I will come back soon to see and read this post in details. I am glad your photos can see in larger format!
Congratulations! Your blog is fantastic!

Pamela said...

Gattina, What an amazing sight! Just incredibly beautiful and I am so glad I stopped by to see your blog! The floral carpet, the square, your description of it and just the fact that it rained and you were able to get shots without the people! *smile*

Jenn said...

Hi Gattina,

Great pics!! they are awesome!

Andreea said...

beautiful photos. i missed the flower carpet this year and amvery sad about it ... but i can see it with your photos.

RennyBA said...

What a lovely post about Brussels! I should have red it before I was there last week.

Thanks for your nice comments on my post from the same:-)

Mrs Lifecruiser said...

OK, thanks, now I'm really eager to get better and be able to get out to travel a bit again!!!!! I'm so longing to gooooooo.....

diane said...

It sure is a beautiful city and flower carpet .

Penguin Five said...

I have just been to this year's flower carpet. Beautiful!

Marishka said...

I've never been to Brussels, but I'm gonna to go there at the end of March and I should say, that I'm already fascinated..thanks for a good job...

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About Me

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are my four cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.

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