Rowena and I traveled north to Belgium and spent the weekend in Brussels, in mid January. We stayed in Le Grand Place, which is the core of Brussels. This location was ideal for shopping, culture and restaurants. Belgium is known for its chocolates.
There’s a magnificient indoor shopping gallerie adjacent to Le Grand Place.Both sides of the Gallerie are lined with beautiful specialty shops. There are toy stores, some shops that sell clothing/accessories and of course there are chocolate shops.
I am not a huge chocolate fan, but when you are in this region you can easily become a chocoholic.
There are some reknowned chocolate makers here including Jeff Bruges, Pierre Ledent, Leonides, Chocopolis, Godiva, Neuhaus, Mary etc. Rowena managed to find and buy products from each of these makers and others. This photo shows that after a two day chocolate shopping spree, she could have opened her own shop. I love Rowena’s “living in the moment” attitude toward life and her zest for having fun.
Granted there’s plenty of shopping in Belgium, but there is plenty to see and enjoy here. The architecture is strangely amazing. There are ancient buildings next to or near really modern buildings. The word “modern” is relative. In Europe a building constructed in 1960 would be considered modern.
We took these pictures as we headed toward the magnificient Palace in Brussels.
On our first day we were aproached by a trio of Girl Scouts. I had no idea the organization was international. These girls were raising money for their troop, but they were not selling the traditional girl scout cookies. They were selling homemade muffins. I am told that it's rare that the home cook will make baked goods. Breads and pastries are sold in Boulangeries — so these girls were making it a point to let us know their muffins were special. They were also selling pieces of dried candy fruit skewered on a stick.
We also had to visit Brussel’s famous icon, Mannequin Pis. It’s a small bronze statue depicting a little boy taking piss into a fountain. Often times they dress him in different costumes. When we saw him he was naked but there was a christmas wreath decoration.