Monday, April 3, 2017

B - Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium.  It was just my luck to arrive in Brussels for the Jazz Festival.  Talk about crowds. These are photos of La Grand-Place, a marketplace which has existed on the site since the 12th Century.

The Guild Halls - This square has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1998.  Many of these buildings were designed by Victor Horta.  The second home from the left, known as 'Le Pigeon', was home to Victor Hugo in 1852.

Guild Halls
La Maison des Ducs de Brabant is a group of six guild houses designed by Guillaume de Bruyn.

You come to see great architecture and get modern stages and sound systems instead.  That is the City Museum in the background, formerly the residence of the ruling Spanish monarch.

Here is a video, minus the crowd chaos:


Galeries Royale off La Grand-Place
Chocolate.  No, I could not resist.  This chocolate is available in the states.
A view toward La Grand-Place with the City Hall tower in the center of the pic  (love the crane)  This is actually the only photo I have of the City Hall since it was blocked by stands in the market place.
The headquarters of the European Union.
Japanese Pavilion and Gardens

Royal Palace of Brussels
Manneken Pis - no I did not go out of my way to see this, it was just there when I was walking by. It was designed by HiĆ«ronymus Duquesnoy the Elder and put in place in 1618 or 1619.  Folks all stand around to have their picture taken in front of it.  I saw something similar at the ruins in Pompeii.  I just do not understand the fascination with it.

Travel sights in the age of terrorism.  Our hotel was near the train station that was bombed and security was very tight.  It reminded me of all the soldiers I saw in Paris during the war in Kosovo when security was very tight.

Is Brussels on your travel destination?  Does the threat of terrorists bother you when you travel?

Bonus:  Daylily 'Bright Memories'

47 comments:

  1. I missed my chance to visit Brussels while living in Germany and definitely regret it. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos! The recent terrorists acts certainly make you want to be more vigilant, but I wouldn't let them deter me from travelling, because that's exactly what those scumbags want.

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    1. I wish I had spent more time there. It was certainly possible but I had a free ride back to Amsterdam. Call me economical.

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  2. I think I've been to Brussels once (such an impression it made :)), but I am more familiar with Antwerp where a uni friend's family live. You have some great photos. Mostly I love Belgium for its beer ;).
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings - Shapeshifters and Werewolves

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    1. I am not a beer drinker - allergies - so I missed a lot of the excitement of others with beer tasting.

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  3. I am taking that long pending Europe trip and yes, Brussels tops the list to cover in Europe :) Stunning pictures, Denise!
    Thailand Travel Stories at Kohl Eyed Me
    26 Indian Dishes at Something's Cooking

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    1. Paris is my favorite city, but Brussels is very nice too. Probably nicer without the crowds for a festival.

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  4. What beautiful pictures! Whenever I see your pics, I wish it were possible to enter the scene through the photograph. Brussels is charming. Are the newer structures built in a similar style?

    Cynthia at Boketto and Bohni: Exotic Words with no English Equivalent

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    1. Glad you enjoy the pics. The newer structures all seem to be in a modern style. That is pretty common throughout Europe.

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  5. Nice. I only flew into Brussels and sat in the train station for hours. It was pouring outside, so I even missed the Mannequin Pis. Great photos.

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    1. This was the first time I'd ever been anywhere in Belgium. Too bad you could not get out of the station as everything is within walking distance of there.

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  6. I really should visit Brussels.I live very close to the channel ferry teminals so it's no distance for me. Apart from my annual visit to the Brugges Christmas Market I have seen very little of Belgium. You pictures are tempting me!

    Click HERE to read my 200-word tale

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    1. I am close to a lot of places here in the states that I have yet to see. Funny how that works.

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  7. Amazing photographs. I love the architecture and the gardens.
    https://mholloway63.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/atozchallenge-aprilatoz-we-didnt-start-the-fire-from-a-to-z-so-many-bs/

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    1. The architecture is phenomenal. It is one of the things I love about Europe.

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  8. It looks like such a beautiful city.

    I worked in NYC immediately after 9/11, I've had to get used to a city becoming an armed camp.

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    1. Very beautiful. Would like to go back without the crowds.

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  9. I am so dizzy this morning(new increase in men's) that I tried to remember that saying by Jean Cocteau in the video because I thought it was great...it escapes me now. I was dumbfounded by that flower tapestry at the end...wowzers. Yes, I would l Be to visit this city and the threat doesn't bother me. The pis boy...he is famous and I'm surprised he is not clothed. He is often clothed for something or other. For Mozart's birthday he was all decked out

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    1. "A luxurious theatre." And it would be wonderful to see the flower tapestry in person.

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  10. Wow! Very gorgeous. I work in the construction & building field so I am always in awe of inspirational architecture. Can't wait to see more!
    TheFrogLady

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  11. Oh wow! All this beautiful architecture then you come upon the headquarters for the EU and it's like culture shock! Beautiful place. We're not going to Brussels, but we ARE going to the UK (Britain, Scotland, Ireland, and France) in September, and I have to say I AM a wee bit nervous (or I will be if I survive the flight! I HATE flying!).

    Calen~
    Impromptu Promptlings
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    1. It's quite common to see modern buildings amidst the old gothic architecture. I don't mind flying but have opted not to travel to Europe this year.

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  12. The buildings are gorgeous. I've never really thought about going to Brussels, but you've kind of made me want to.

    I think you have to be smart about where and when you travel, but I think the threat of terrorism should make everyone stay home. I feel better seeing soldiers, police officers, etc. Maybe I'm weird, but I was actually happy to be stopped by TSA last time I flew. I didn't have anything I wasn't supposed to, but it made me feel safe to know they were being diligent.

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  13. I just met a Minnesotan who is originally from Brussels. She is a college Professor. I'll let her know about your blog post.

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    1. P.S. follow my A to Z challenge at theglobaldig.blogspot.com

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  14. I am enjoying your travels through the photos you post. I hope to get over there one day...

    on a lighter note, I guess I have a thing for young men in the military, but I would of taken a photo of their backside as well. :-P

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    1. Better that I follow them than the other way around. Lol.

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  15. I love Brussels, and most other spots I've been to in Belguim. My hubs company had an office near Ghent, so he was in Brussels every month. I'm glad we lived in the UK when we did. It was post 9-11 so we were sensible, but I feel like today figuring out what's safe is a little trickier.

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    1. The recent attack in London was scary. I'm staying home this year.

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  16. Love Brussels. We do not have plans to visit anytime soon, although my husband does work for a German company. You never know. Would the attacks give me pause? Definitely, but I hope I could take an opportunity that would be rare to get back.

    http://linensandlaurel.typepad.com//my_weblog/

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    1. We can't live our lives worrying about what might happen.

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  17. Certainly has some grand architecture. I've spent a lot of time in France but never been to Belgium. Looks worth exploring!

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    1. There will be many more beautiful places in Belgium coming up.

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  18. Beautiful architecture. We want to return to Brussels it's been too long.


    Today I'm enjoying the "bat beat" of the Ancholi A Piece of Uganda

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  19. There is very little that isn't on my travel wishlist! We're hoping to do a European river cruise eventually. In general, terrorism would never stop me from traveling. There are too many things I want to see and, sadly, acts of violence can happen anywhere. WeekendsInMaine

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    1. I'd love to do a river cruise of the Christmas markets - as if I needed anymore stuff.

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  20. Spanish King? Did you buy any lace in Brussels. Beautiful work. Love the chocolate too. Great pictures, crane and all. Love your flowers too.

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    1. Yes, Spain controlled Belgium 1571-1714. Lace is very expensive and not my style, despite the fact I used to sell expensive wedding gowns with lots of lace.

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  21. Beautiful pictures. I'd love to visit one day, but have no immediate plans.

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  22. Your photos are gorgeous! Glad you're enjoying your retirement.

    Dena
    https://denapawling.blogspot.com/2017/04/b-is-for-bakke.html

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  23. You know, since I first encountered your blog, it's taken on a new meaning--my husband has set his retirement date (and I get to tag along).

    Your question about terrorism and worry when traveling is apropos. Most of our travel is more apt to be wilderness travel, where that's not a worry. But my oldest son is in Russia right now, and yes, I can't help but worry a little. The odds of being in the wrong place at the wrong time are low, but they do exist.

    I never got to Brussels when I was in Europe as a pipsqueak, and it's not very high on the list now (thinking more about hut-walking in the Dolomites). But I do love the ancient cities.

    --Rebecca
    The Ninja Librarian’s Favorite Characters

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    1. I am glad I went to Russia already. I fear I will never see Turkey or Egypt. Just too much unrest for me.

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  24. Boy, they don't build them like they used to, do they? I think the fascination with that statue is perhaps the fact that people enjoy the idea that those who could and did building things so grand and formal still had a sense of humor.


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    1. Maybe the fact that I had three boys who thought doing that was expedient has colored my attitude.

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  25. Loved your post - I lived in Belgium in the late 60s-early 70s. Really hope to go back for a visit.

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    1. My cousin lives in Lille, France so visiting Brussels is a no-brainer.

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  26. No I haven't visited Brussels. I probably won't travel like that again. Those lilies today are splendid. Love the color

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    1. I figure I have a few more years to still travel.

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