|View from the hotel|
All of the pictures above are of the Grand Place. It's a market square that in the spring, summer and fall is filled on weekends with stalls but it was little too early in the year for that. I only saw a few vendors on Friday afternoon.
There were many little side streets around the Grand Place; but being by myself, I was careful about which ones I went down. It would be too easy to get lost as many of these little streets didn't have street signs.
I did have two missions on my visit to Brussels, one was to find the Tintin Boutique and the other was to find the three peeing fountains.
The original statue dates from the 1600's but this one was made in 1965. They dress him up throughout the year in various costumes, while I was there he was in Irish dress for St Patrick's Day but I didn't get down again to see him.
But did you know there are two other peeing statues? One is fairly well known but hard to find and other isn't well known at all and is also quite hard to find. They are statues of a little girl (Jeanneke Pis) and a dog (Zinneke Pis). The little girl is also off the Grand Place and is on a dead end street. If I had't know she was there I wouldn't have walked down that little alley.
Then there is also the dog. He isn't off the Grand Place but on streets opposite the Bourse about a block away from the Grand Place. He was hard to find not because he was in a little side street but because the streets often don't have street signs to let you know where you are. And then even some of the directions on the Internet were wrong. The dog doesn't actually pee although some web sites state that he was plumbed just never connected.
My other mission was to find the Tintin Boutique. I expected to see more signs of Tintin than I did as he was created in Belgium. I did find the Tintin Boutique; it too was right of the Grand Place. And I did find some other signs of Tintin; a mural on a wall and in the restaurant we ate in on Friday afternoon.
So all in all it was a good trip, got to experience meetings at NATO and still had time to see some sights. Just a little taste of Brussels although I do have to say patates frites were really nothing special. I brought home chocolate, who doesn't, so we'll have to see if that's the real taste of Brussels.