Brussels: the first day

Monday, December 05, 2011

I went to Brussels for an overnight trip with friends! The (real) last trip this year in Europe: Brussels, Belgium! Only an hour and a half train ride from Paris. Makes for a perfect overnight trip :) It was cold, but fun, we visited lot of Christmas markets and ate soooo much! It was weird because they speak French there as well, but with an accent, and a few diff words. The architecture was an in between of the German and Dutch styles. 

Went with five things in our minds - beer, mussels, fries, waffles, and chocolates - and succeeded in ticking all of them. I liked the chocolates the best, haha. We got super touristy waffles that was so silly, practically drowning in nutella and a mountain of whipped cream... it was a bit disgusting, lol. I also had rabbit meat for dinner. 

Saw a St Nicholas parade - In Northern Dutch?! tradition, they have a special day where they have a festival and give out lollies to children, and St Nich comes to give presents. I guess this was the day. So the kids get presents on two days, lucky them! The people giving out sweets kept giving them to me, as well as the other little kiddies, but not my friends, haha.  

One of the many churches

Artworks everywhere

Christmas markets, also everywhere

Ancient remains

Lots of people

Towards the chocolates...

...of Manneken pis, in every flavour

Grand place

Santas everywhere. Why? we wondered

Admiring architecture...

...all around...

...until we realised that a parade was happening.

People in uniforms! Reminded me of the Swiss guards at the Vatican.

Marching band

Stalk walkers!

Higher and higher...

Sweets giving people. Man dressed as an old lady. They gave a few as well. 

Giant people...

They get bigger and bigger!

A donkey bearing sweets

Cheers for St Nicholas!

Even the Puss in boots. Promoting its current film?

With the parade finished, we continued looking around the Grand place. A huge Nativity with life sized family of the baby Jesus, and real sheep.

Dancers in rehearsal for the lights festival at night

On the way to the Manneken pis...

...dressed up as St Nich!

Colourful street arts in the gay area

Cool !

I liked this area

;) In various sizes ?!

The lights festival, with accompanying orchestral music.

Christmas tree :)

Went back to Manneken pis for extreme tourist waffels. He had taken off his costume. 

We got so tired from being tourists we headed back early. I got really worried about getting sick from all the things I had stuffed myself with that day, from white Boudin sausage to that silly overloaded waffle. Being in such a Christmas environment made me very excited and giddy. 'Tis the holiday season! Probably for the first time, I felt sad to be leaving Europe before Christmas. But only just ;)

See also:
Brussels: the second day ;
Brussels: the dinner ;
Brussels: Les Gens que j'aime ;
Brussels: the comics on walls.

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