Friday, April 21, 2017

Parc du Cinquantenaire (Brussels, Belgium)

Bilingual warning signs, one written in French and another one in Flemish (which is actually almost like Dutch with a strange pronouncing), had a pretty much confused me while I was waiting for next train at the station somewhere near Brussels. One elderly woman told me that I should not be upset about it because even many locals do not know how to speak correctly both of the languages and that even the national television of Belgium has two separate newsrooms. When I arrived in Brussels I could not feel this language division among the younger people since probably it is the capital city, while in the other smaller towns of Flanders & Wallonia there are some obvious cultural differences in all fields like history, architecture style and language.

Parc du Cinquantenaire by Igor L.
(Parc du Cinquantenaire, Brussels)
Photo taken by Igor L.

At first glance, I liked Brussels so much because the city has a similar vibe to Belgrade and even some hidden places like cool museums, strange clubs or hypster chilling spots which you come across by total accident. The first place I visited with a company of great friends was Delirium Café in which it was possible to order a lot of craft beers not only from Belgium but also and from countries all over the world. Since we were in the city center area we stopped up by Stock Exchange building eating a hot chocolate waffle that we bought right next to the main square and heading towards bronze "Manneken Pis" boy statue fountain. It was easy to move around with a public metro so we enjoyed the rest of our day in spacious Parc du Cinquantenaire having a great view on the huge Triumphal Arch in front of us and resting for a lunch at nearby budget African restaurant.

Queen Elisabeth Statue by Igor L.
(Queen Elisabeth Statue, Brussels)
Photo taken by Igor L.

Evening was fallen and instead of going out to a party we decided to simply sit with others in front of the Grand Place because the weather was very good and without any rain. The whole plateau began to glow in the dark, young people, tourists and locals appeared from everywhere and I suddenly felt like at some urban picnic in the middle of Brussels. With best Belgium beer, laugh and talk we went to sleep after a while because tomorrow I should continue with my city tour again just this time alone. Next day my goal was to check the hill of Mont des Arts which offers a beautiful view on the whole Brussels with some important monuments. During the road I came across many statues and each of them tells its own story about this place. Among them I recognized statue of Belgium Queen Elizabeth since I reading that she was popular in the past among people because of her front and wounded soldiers visits during the time of WW1. In appreciation, state raised beautiful statue which will always remind locals of who she was...

Old Buildings View by Igor L.
(Old Buildings View, Brussels)
Photo taken by Igor L.

Royal Library of Belgium, Protestant Church, Royal Palace of Brussels, Museum of Fine Arts, Saint Jacques Church and other buildings are just some of interesting wonders which you will be able to visit if you climb at the top of the Coudenberg hill. In my opinion however "Palace of Justice" which is located on the end of one large tram street is certainly special architecture jewel where you might even enter for free and feel some shade energy of this building with pigeons and echo that rumbles throughout the walls. On my returning back to the other side of city I set in a couple of parks to rest and among them my favorite would be Petit Sablon which is a small but still very nice park with interesting fountain statue of Egmont and Horn. By the end of that day I succeeded to visit also and European Parliament with which I was not thrilled (honestly nothing special) as well as to take a picture of the Atomium!

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