We’ve been in Brussels for about three weeks and we’re really loving the Belgian capital.
How can we not!?
THERE IS BEER, WAFFLES, FRIES AND CHOCOLATE EVERYWHERE!!!
It’s also less touristy than say Paris, but beautiful and with lots to see and do.
To get from London to Brussels we had to take the Chunnel (or Channel Tunnel) and THAT was kind of mind blowing!
Get this…We were siting on the top of a double decker coach bus, that was sitting in a sort of train compartment, that was in a tunnel, THAT WAS IN THE OCEAN!!!
Anyway, we’re sort of housesitting right now. Some friends are away for a while and we’re living in their house.
We spent our first two days in Brussels catching up on some sleep and getting acquainted with our new neighbourhood. Two days after we arrived, some good friends from Ottawa came for a week so we explored the region with them.
L celebrated his birthday with a tasty mussels dinner at Chez Leon. After, we checked out the Grand Place (considered one of the most beautiful squares in Europe), Manneken Pis (a sculpture of a little boy peeing that is a Brussels landmark) and Jeanneke Pis (the female version). LJ played a little football in the square and thought both sculptures were equally awesome because she's eight and anything that pees is awesome when you're eight. That week we also visited the old Cantillon Brewery to see how Lambic beers were made in the early 1900s (and try some samples), and took a day trip to the medieval canal cities of Bruges and Ghent.
It was a lovely week and it was so nice to spend time with dear friends.
Since their departure we’ve kind of just been…living.
LJ does her school work and L and I tackle the housework. We hit up the market on Saturdays – a market with waffles so tasty we declared Saturdays Waffle Day. Although, I did got to the market by myself on a Tuesday and ate a waffle so I’ve since secretly declared any market day as Waffle Day.
There’s a park near our house that has a great climbing structure, as well as a small soccer pitch — LJ's kind of place! It’s been very hot in Brussels and this park has lots of shade so we spend quite a bit of time there. LJ often finds kids to play with, giving L and I some time to do a quick workout or go for a run.
At home, LJ plays with her Lego or draws, I write and L tinkers about. We read together, watch documentaries, and just…be.
Some days we’re more like tourists and we go out and see the sights. We visited the Belgian Comic Strip Center (a museum dedicated to comics) and spent some time reading in its library. We checked out the Museum of Natural Sciences of Belgium, the Brussels Beach (Bruxelles les Bains) event, and the Arcade du Cinquantenaire.
But a real highlight for all three of us was watching a pro football game. We got to cheer on RSC Anderlecht as they beat KV Oostende 5-2. It was quite spectacular! We were in the standing-only zone, in front, behind the goal and the energy was incredible. We often watch Ottawa Fury games at home, but this was something else! LJ is loving being in a city where everyone is as passionate about soccer as she is.
This week was a quiet one. LJ is attending a five-day “stage de football” at a nearby sports complex and L and I are doing our own thing. I'm writing and he's going for long bike rides.
We still have a few weeks left in Belgium and there are certainly more things we plan to see and do (including eat more waffles), so I guess this post will need a Part 2…
When we do leave, we’ll enter into a more transient period for a while, with lots of moving and visiting, so we’re taking advantage of the down time.
But…I am already getting antsy for the next adventure!
To be continued…
Belgium with Kids - Part 1
How we got to Brussels:
Flix Bus from London to Brussels
Where we stayed in Brussels:
Friends’ house (but sites like Trusted Housesitters can help you find similar no-cost accommodations)
What we did in Belgium:
Dinner - Chez Leon
Day trip to Bruges and Ghent
Belgian Comic Strip Center
Museum of Natural Sciences of Belgium
Lunch - Brussels Beach (Bruxelles les Bains)
Arcade du Cinquantenaire