November 22, 2011

Weekend in Belgium - Brussels Stroll - Part II

We continued our walk in Brussels past this yellow beacon in the Place Flagey and started searching for a bite to eat.
We stopped at Les PĂ©nates to dine al fresco on the curb.
We enjoyed sweeping sun drenched views of the neighborhood.
For lunch we ordered a sandwich that came on fresh olive bread.
We walked towards the Grote Markt and passed this menacing spider along the way.
I liked this jaunty sign pointing out the pedestrian underpass.  Don't attempt to cross without a stylish hat...
Unfortunately, the tunnel itself was a little less stylish and a lot more smelly than the sign above would have led us to believe.
We held our breath and emerged on the other side unharmed.  More menacing gargoyles adorned a nearby building.
We approached the Palais de Justice which towers above the old town and offers sweeping views.
We passed a statue commemorating those lost in World War I.
Looking out, we could see old-meets-new in the distance.
We walked downhill and soon arrived at the Place du Sablon where the local antiques market was doing a brisk business.
We soon turned our attention to more important things though...chocolate!!!  A number of shops, including Pierre Marcolini line the Place du Sablon.
We tried a selection of local cookies at Dandoy.  Many of the varieties looked crispy but they simply melted in our mouths.  Delicious!
Continuing on, we passed some old stone ruins.
...and a plaza adorned with blue flags.
We stopped at the Jardin du Mont des Arts to sit and admire the view before turning our attentions to the Grote Markt.

November 21, 2011

Weekend in Belgium - Flower Boxes

One thing I really liked about Brussels was the flower boxes in people's windows.  They really popped against the gray and brick buildings.  Here's a selection that I captured during our visit.

Weekend in Belgium - Brussels Stroll

Hot dog!  I forgot how much I like Belgium.  Chocolate and beer...  What more does a place need to lure us in?  We spent the weekend in and around Brussels earlier this fall.
We started with a walk from the train station to our hotel.  We passed a park and palace in the middle of town.
I liked this sign: Friendly Night-Shop.  Alas, it was daytime when we passed so I'm not sure what they have on offer.
We soon arrived at the Hotel Manos Stephanie, our home for the weekend.  After quickly dropping off our bags, we were on our way again.
Brussels is a beautiful city, but they do have a graffiti problem as evidenced by these post boxes.
We stopped to admire this monolithic sculpture in the middle of a divided road.
We particularly liked Brussels' rich architecture.
We were enticed by the pastries on offer at a little patisserie in the Ixelles neighborhood.
We bought a few treats and went across the street to a small triangular park to sample the goodies.
I particularly liked this gooseberry tart.  So delicious!
We continued our walk from Ixelles to Place Flagey.
It was still early and a lot of shops weren't open yet so we got a glimpse of the street art on the protective metals doors of various shops.
The window of this tailor's shop was framed by a giant zipper! 
We passed a pet store featuring oodles of bunny rabbits.
A black and white whale graced a nearby wall.
We soon arrived at Place Flagey.
There is a weekend market in the square with a huge variety of foods and goods on offer.
The square was just beautiful in the sun.
We passed the popular Frit Flagey but decided to save our appetite for later.  It was hard to do because the fries looked so tempting!
We walked passed a Barbie perched on a menu board.
We finished our morning stroll by watching the ducks and geese preen themselves along the Flagey Lakes -- an amazing oasis within the city limits.