Tuesday, September 24, 2019

A SIGHTSEEING TOUR OF BRUSSELS

I have done sightseeing tours in almost all big cities I have visited except in my own town Brussels. As the weather was beautiful and it was the Sunday "Brussels without cars" I thought it would be a good idea to make this tour. My two neighbor girls came with me.



It is nice to see all streets without cars, except a few with a special permission, and the public transports, bus, tram and metro of course, and for free !!



We looked around and I tried to take pictures.



There were still some beautiful houses left, which hadn't been destroyed to built modern glass boxes. There were a lot of people in the streets and there was a cheerful atmosphere



There are a lot of parks in Brussels where people sat on the grass or walked around



In the background you can see the Cinquantenaire, which was built for the 50th anniversary of Belgium and hosts now a museum and showrooms.Everywhere were bikes or scooters and a lot to eat and drink !



This is the Brussels North station. Above is how I knew it when I took the train everyday for work and  underneath how it looks today. I didn't recognize anything ! The only high building where balls were organized and a lot of companies had their offices and where I used to go dancing when I was 18, had also disappeared !



The whole area had been demolished and replaced by glass boxes, I had the feeling to be in Dubai ! Then I thought if somebody would drop me in a city I wouldn't know where I am, because now they look all the same ! Sad.



Here lives the King Philip and Queen Mathilde with their 5 children.



Opposite of the castle is a huge park again and a memorial of a king.



Fortunately some areas are untouched and the old beautiful houses are still standing.



The Basilique, sitting on a hill. It's a catholic church, which has also a theatre and a restaurant.



The canal which connects Brussels to the Antwerp port



There was a whole group of bikers arriving



This beautiful Art-Deco building escaped the massacre



Les beaux Arts, theatre and exhibition hall



The museum of music



The street leading to the Palais de Justice (Justice palace)



The outside of the National museum


A beautiful church



On the hill where in the past criminals were hanged, there is now a huge wheel from which you have a wonderful overview from Brussels.



Just one car,  where usually there are traffic jams



This had been the old Belgian TV Station



The Schumann station in the middle of the area where all European institutions are and also a lot of embassies.



The European parliament





All this didn't exist when my father worked for the EU (at that time Commun Market)



Houses like this were all demolished there are only a few still standing.



A rather special architecture



I don't know why this old bridge leads to a very  modern building



There was a square surrounded with these European offices I think it is the Schumann square, but I am not sure I had never seen this ! I think last time I was there must be 40 or so years ago !



And here is the Berlaymont office which houses the headquarters of the European Commission, the executive of the European Union (EU).


and these are the surroundings I recognized the street where I had been two weeks before in the German embassy.

Our sightseeing tour lasted nearly 4 hours, because we made the two parts, the North and the South.
It was so interesting, but also a bit sad, because the Brussels of my youth had disappeared. Only a few things hadn't changed.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

BUDAPEST - HUNGARY

When I was for two days in Budapest I fell in love with this city ! I can't say why, but it was such a charming town and people were all so friendly. We stayed for two nights in the Ibis Hotel which fortunately was located in the center of Budapest. In our free time I could travel on the bus for free because I was over 65 and I was not even Hungarian ! In my own country I have to pay for seniors ! I also found Budapest very modern, there was Wifi nearly everywhere, it looked clean and I tried to see as much as possible in this short time and therefore took a sightseeing bus, which I could use the whole day. It was so nice to sit on the top and have a nice view over the streets and houses.

I won't describe its whole history you can find it here. Budapest has something for everyone – from dramatic history and flamboyant architecture to healing thermal waters and a nightlife that is unrivalled in Eastern and Central Europe.

Architecturally, the city is a treasure trove, with enough baroque, neoclassical, Eclectic and art nouveau buildings to satisfy everyone. Overall, though, Budapest has a fin de siècle feel to it, for it was then, during the capital’s ‘golden age' in the late 19th century, that most of what you see today was built.

And here are some photos I have taken in Budapest.





Fisherman's Bastion













a look over Budapest







Castle and Parliament






Chain bridge










Views of Budapest's streets from the sightseeing bus



View from our hotel window ! Interesting how people live




The New York Café outside. It was close to our hotel and the bus station was just at their door. Unfortunately I didn't go inside, which I sincerely regret, I didn't know what a beautiful café it was !



Saw it later on Internet



reminders of comunist times

In the evening we had a cruise on the Danube, with Champagne ! It was absolutely gorgeous ! The views !! I have seen a lot in my life but I was really impressed








cruise ships on the Danube











and all these beautiful illuminated buildings



and at the end of the cruise the moon.

There were a lot more to see in Budapest, I only had an overlook, a city to visit again, that's for sure !

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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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