I managed to swap my trip to Amsterdam for one to Brussels which would mean me also visiting country 56! We departed Dubai at 14:35 and it was 7 hours and 10 minutes over to Brussels, the capital of Belgium.
Landing in the evening, we went over to the hotel to check in and I met the purser downstairs for a drink before calling it a night. We had the most amazing cherry flavoured beer though, which everyone should try in Brussels by the way!
The next morning I woke up and went out around 11am. I walked across to the subway, not before grabbing a coffee to warm up in the minus temperatures. It was VERY cold in Brussels…
I was going towards the Atomium, a landmark building constructed in 1958 for the Brussels World Fair.
You can actually venture up inside the Atomium for €8 which I didn’t realise, and from there you can see views all over the city.
Back down at the bottom again, I took the tram back towards the city in the direction of the Grand Palace.
The Grand Palace (or Grote Markt) “is the central square of Brussels. It is surrounded by opulent guildhalls and two larger edifices, the city’s Town Hall, and the King’s House or Breadhouse building containing the Museum of the City of Brussels.
The square measures 68 by 110 metres (223 by 361 ft). The square is the most important tourist destination and most memorable landmark in Brussels. It is also considered as one of the most beautiful squares in Europe, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998″.
The square is so beautiful and incredibly decadent with the shimmering gold of the buildings reflecting in the sunlight. Despite the beautiful view, my hands were like blocks of ice after spending a good 20 minutes or so outside. Ready to warm up, I stopped for lunch at a place called Peck 47 which I had found online.
As a big lover of brunch food, this place was right up my street and I really really struggled to decide what to eat as their was SO much choice! Warming my hands up with a cup of English Breakfast Tea (I did want a smoothie as they sounded so good but my hands are so cold I wanted something warm to place my hands round) I waited for my food to arrive.
I’d chosen a chorizo waffle (when in Belgium) topped with goats cheese, bacon, two poached eggs and topped with their special spicy sauce and served with a side salad.
The food was amazing and I could have eaten it twice over! If anyone is ever in Brussels, definitely visit this restaurant!
From here I walked over to Manneken Pis. “Manneken Pis meaning “Little man Pee” in Dutch, is a small bronze sculpture in Brussels, depicting a naked little boy urinating into a fountain’s basin. It was designed by Hiëronymus Duquesnoy the Elder and put in place in 1618. The current statue is a copy which dates from 1965. The original is kept in the Museum of the City of Brussels”. Locals also dress up the statue in different costumes and when I was there he was wearing a little army generals outfit.
My final stop of the day was to Neuhaus which my friend Aidan had recommended to me to try their hot chocolate. It was €4 for a little pot but the hot chocolate was so thick it was more like soup! But so delicious, and really warmed me up in the cold winter day before I made my way back to the hotel.
A great layover which I really enjoyed whilst I ticked off another country! When we landed back into Dubai, we stepped out to the most beautiful sunrise too.
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