Thursday, November 6, 2008

My life in Canada (July 2008)...Part 9

July 2008 continued:

*Sunday – July 27: Today we had agreed with Maarten and Joke (my friends) that we would go to Brussels together. Brussels is the capital of Belgium and Michael had never been here yet. Maarten and Joke lived here for 4 years while Joke went to school and they know Brussels inside out. We picked them up and drove to Brussels. It was a hot and sunny day again, so that was perfect for our day trip. Michael absolutely wanted to see the Atomium, so we went there first. This building was built in 1958 for the World Expo that took place in Brussels. This building is 102m/335ft tall and consists of nine steel spheres connected so that it forms the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. We wanted to go inside and it cost us 9 euro each (about $15). We could vist just about every sphere by escalators. The top sphere offers great panoramic views over Brussels and you can get there via an elevator that was considered the fastest one in the world in 1958 as it goes up at the speed of 5m (approx. 15ft) per second. We enjoyed our time here and Michael thought it was fantastic, he was really impressed with this place.

After that we drove to the city centre of Brussels where we parked the car on the outskirts of the city and walked from there. We first walked to the Royal Palace as we were going to have a look there, apparently it was open to the public for free. So anybody could have a walk through the Palace. Sadly enough we had to give our photo and video camera’s to the security people as we weren’t allowed to take photos. It definitely was worth a visit this amazing palace with such beautiful rooms.

After our visit to the Royal Palace we walked through the city and were on our way to the Comic Museum. Michael was interested in visiting this as he was a fan of “Kuifje/Tintin” since he was a child. On the way we stopped at a beautiful cathedral as well, this was the cathedral where our king and queen got married. It is called the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula and it was originally build in 1047. It’s a beautiful cathedral that is open to the public as wel, so we we went inside to see the beautiful architecture. What a beautiful cathedral! Then we were on our way to the Comic Museum and we found it quite quickly. Maarten wasn’t a 100% sure if he was going to find it, but he found it no problem. We just went inside the main hall, but didn’t actually go inside of the museum. There was a book store attached to the museum and here you could find comic books in about 20 different languages…very interesting. After this visit we stopped at a little place for lunch and we sat outside on a patio. We had some real yummy Belgian Waffles. These are just the best and so tasty.

We sat around for a little while and then we were off to the Grand Place (Grote Markt). This is the main and most popular square in Brussels with very old buildings. It was so nice to see as I hadn’t been here for years. Michael was also impressed with the sights and the beautiful views. We wondered down the popular tourist streets, stopped at a few tourist shops and of course we had to stop at a café. We went to a café that offered 300 different kinds of Belgian beers…geez, what do you choose now?? I had a cherry beer, which is my favourite and Michael had a heavier beer which he liked. It was quite an interesting café. After that we went on to see Manneke Pis…the little peeing guy who is so famous. He is just a little guy, but a big attraction in Brussels. This is about all the sight for today, it was heading on for dinner time so we were going to go to a place where they serve old fashioned Belgian meals. The restaurant is called “Fin De Siècle” and you can get authentic Belgian food here. It was very tasty and so typically Belgian…I really enjoyed it very much! We took the metro back to where the car was parked and on our way home we were. We had a fantastic day and this was all thanks to Maarten and Joke…they showed us around this beautiful city and we enjoyed it soooo much! Thanks again guys!

Please see my next post "My life in Canada (July 2008)...Part 10" for the rest of the story!

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