Wednesday, August 3, 2011

36 Hours in Brussels


"Hey, look! It's ..."

"Bela Delosi."

"Uh, no. I was thinking of Salvador Dali, actually. And his name's not 'Bela Delosi'--it's 'Bela Lugosi.' Sheesh! I guess you weren't a Bauhaus fan, huh?"

"That moustache was drawn on afterward. That's not Dali."

And so went one of many squabbles hashed out over street art in colorful, graffiti-filled Brussels. In 36 hours, we squeezed in a lot more than simple, inane conversation. Over the course of a day and a half, we:



  • drank tangy, slightly vinegar-y Lambic ale at a bustling beer joint


  • got invited to a party by a Rockabilly-styled, vintage-store-owning Scottish transplant
  • admired 20th century sculpture in a public garden


  • communed with a banded pigeon


  • rode public Villo bikes to a grand park inhabited by wild parakeets


  • ate really lousy falafel sandwiches at a kebab place just before discovering a veg falafel place around the corner


  • wandered around slippery cobbled alleyways without falling even once
  • scored treasures at the flea market in the Ixelles district


  • munched mediocre frites with the one vegan sauce out of 20 they had available: ketchup
  • pricked up our ears for street musicians playing the accordion, saxophone, guitar, and flute



  • sat at outdoor cafes and listened as the world passed by in Flemish, English, and French
  • accidentally meandered through the local housing projects


  • laughed while watching screaming passengers spinning on a manic, twirling Ferris wheel
  • enjoyed a deliciously spicy Thai dinner, and washed it down with excellent house wine
  • gazed at the fanciful facades of many a Gothic church
  • discovered Dr. Bronner’s soap actually does exist in Europe (at Belgian natural food stores, anyway)
  • bumped into the crowd gathered around Manneken Pis, even though we tried to avoid it
  • bought the best vegan chocolate on the planet, aka Ritter Sport bar Marzipan
  • picked up dog poo, earning ourselves the imagined "good visitor" award from locals
  • pretend-ate poison berries


  • stared up at a gargantuan model of an iron atom


  • moseyed about Chinatown, stealing furtive glances at outdoor diners' plates as we passed



  • sipped overpriced carrot-apple-ginger melanges from a juice-bar chain
  • missed our chance to laze about in the hotel sauna
  • watched a light show projected against the ancient buildings in the main square


  • vowed to haunt the Magritte museum the next time we visit



  • marveled at king-sized loaves of bread for sale at the very few bakeries we encountered
  • cuddled cute cars


  • experienced documentary film-making failure at Laeken Park (see below)
video

4 comments:

  1. Look at that dear little Fanny. The one in the basket, not the one on Jeff's rear.
    I am so glad you are posting your travels on line so we can enjoy your humor and fun times! Miss you guys

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  2. Thanks for reading my humble little blog, Beth! We miss you guys, too. xoxox

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  3. You are the cutest and the chicest poison berry pretender eater ever! Can't wait to be back home and see you soon:)

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  4. Susa, can't wait to see you soon, too! We have travel tales to swap (and more!) xoxo

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