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Rachel's HomeBrussels, November 2005Happy Birthday Rachel!


Brussels, November 2005

Happy Birthday Rachel! |

Spent the weekend in Brussels for my birthday. Whilst the Grand Place is beautiful, there are some wonderful museums and good bars and restaurants, Brussels is far from my favourite city in Europe. Its role as a political capital seems to have crushed some of the life out of it, at least in the parts we saw. However, our greatest disappointment was the degree of tacky tourism, far more so than in Amsterdam or Bruges for example. The result is a few narrow streets of stunning medieval-17th century buildings choked by restaurant tables, awnings, touts, and the smell of rancid chip fat.

Leaving aside the moans, the Museum of Musical Instruments is stunning - you are given a sound guide and can actually hear the instruments (collections include western, ethnic and mechanical/electronic) as you walk round. The Musee des Beaux Arts is also superb - favourites here included the paintings by van der Weyden, Bosch, Breughel, Delvaux and Magritte.

Food was another highlight. We stumbled upon a very cool place on the Place du Grand Sablon on our first night called Lola. Another night saw fresh seafood (huge, juicy mussels, a local speciality of eel in green sauce, and lobster) in the old fish market area. We also discovered a wonderful, mad, cosy, bohemian bar, the details of which I shall add as soon as I find them again!

Locations Visited: Brussels

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