Of course, Belgium had to start with waffles.
Brussels was a very easy city to navigate, as much of the centre is wide streets free of cars. My hostel was across town from the central station, and after passing the pinwheels and crossing the bridge, I passed this church every day on my way to exploring.
The city centre was very nice, and full of tourists.
The main square “Grand Place” was impressive with its various museums and restaurants.
I was fortunate to have a good friend from home join me for three countries of my trip. I wasn’t sure if he’d be able to come, but before long I was trying Belgian beer with my friend Luke.
Still not a huge fan of beer, but these were pretty good.
We did end up going to see a church, but it was a pretty special church. The Saint Michael and Saint Gudula Cathedral is Belgium’s national church and has been the site of royal weddings and funerals.
I loved the stained glass windows, they looked to be different from the usual style.
Of course there was an organ I wanted to try as well.
We walked to the Royal Palace of Brussels, which we observed from the exterior beyond neatly kept hedges.
From there we walked towards a nearby plaza, and started catching elevated glimpses of Brussels.
At this point I honestly just saw something shiny and decided to follow it, stopping first for coffee with a view of this church.
The shiny thing ended up being the roof of the Palais de Justice.
It also had the best view of Brussels.
On the way back into town we saw an obelisk, which didn’t look to have been taken from Egypt, and I decided I appreciated that it was a not-stolen European obelisk.
The best music experience of Belgium was finding this sax quartet performing downtown.
Finally, we took the train from our hostel out to see The Atomium.
Built in 1958 for the world expo, it is still one of the major tourist attractions for the city.
The inside offered views, a history of the building, and an overview of Belgium’s aviation history.
Belgium taught me that café usually means bar, and coffee can mean anything from sort of good coffee to water accidentally mixed with brown paint. I found one cafe I managed to approve of, but the feeling of betrayal from so many “cafés” have made me cautious.
Overall I enjoyed Brussels. It’s an easy city to visit and navigate, with some cool things to see. It was also a convenient base for side trips!