Thursday, September 8, 2011

Asterix, photography and peeing kids: Brussels

Sorry, but I couldn't resist the tacky mentioning of manneken and jeanneken. We found Manneken Pis - the famous sculpture of a peeing boy - surrounded by tourists and waffle stands. It felt almost like an outdoors Mona Lisa...
Jaenneken Pis - a statue of a girl added much later, maybe out of a desire to polish up the city's image with some gender-equality, is hidden tucked away in a tiny, dark side alley and we were the only people there. No wonder - even with a map we had looked for the place for about twenty minutes!

We had made our way from Berlin to Amsterdam via ridesharing and trains, and were already quite settled in. We had initially planned to go to Brussels from there and then back home again. But now I had decided to stay in Amsterdam a bit longer than Tali and so she agreed to take a there-and-back-again trip to the capital of Belgium.
Smile, you're not on camera, but it's good for your health
Since we had used up our budgeted money for transport we decided to just give it a go and try the tour by hitchhiking. We were two, after all, and there wasn't much worse that could happen than having to come back because nobody would take us.
I had done some thumbing earlier, in Switzerland, but always inside of Zurich or on countryside roads. Neither of us had never hitchhiked from one city to another on the highways, so we were a bit nervous about if we would get it right.
Seems we did, or at least we didn't do things so horribly wrong that people got freaked out by it. We got three rides down to Brussels and covered the distance in about the same time that the route planner had predicted for a normal car trip, without even trying too hard. People actually came up to us at the gas station and invited us to come ride with them!
On the way back we had some trouble getting out of the city because the spot we chose was horrible. We waited for about half an hour and started to get worried (only hitchhikers will spot the joke of this. For everybody else: It's quite normal - especially for guys - to wait an hour or two for a ride...). So that journey took us a bit longer but was still relatively smooth.

In between these exciting things we stayed at the house of Tali's cousin and her charming family. We took the first day to explore the city, Tali showing me the sights that she had already seen (I've never been to Brussels or even Belgium before).

On the second day we visited the comic museum and then went off to see Tali's aunt and uncle in a little town close to the city, where we had tea with them and got totally lost in time in the awesome museum of photography.


Brussels isn't a hugely impressive city all by itself. It certainly does have some interesting and culturally significant sights, like the main square that is surrounded by breathtaking architecture, the big comic museum and comic related murals all over the town.
Saving the best thing for the end, part four of my travel tales will be all about Amsterdam!

Travel Tales 2011
Part 1: Hamburg
Part 2: Berlin


Grade Based Activities said...

Excellent shots, lovely pictures and awesome photography.

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