I decided to visit Brussels on this trip because it was fairly close to Amsterdam. I arrived by train which took about 3 hours. I got to check out beautiful European countryside along the way.
While on my way to the hotel, I passed by the stunning St. Michel Cathedral and had to come see it right away.
In contrast to churches in Rome, churches in Brussels are in Gothic style.
Beautiful stained glass inside.
There was some nice organ music playing as well.
After admiring the cathedral, I went on to the Grand Place. I had been wanting to come here for years!
I made it! So happy.
The sun was setting and made the structure looked golden.
This is Brussels' version of street performers...some very nice classical music!
When you're in Belgium, you have to have some Belgian Waffle, right? It's crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
Then I went to see the famous Manneken Pis, the peeing boy.
A beautiful indoor shopping and dining area.
There's a Chinese restaurant here.
I hung around at the Grand Place some more taking in the view and having fun people watching.
For lunch, I had some beef stew and "Belgian" fries.
After recharging my battery, I went exploring all around town.
I went to the Belgian Royal Fine Arts Musuems. Since the summer Olympics was just a couple of weeks away opening in Beijing, China, they had this cool illustration of "Athletes Alley" sculpture on display.
Beautiful interior of the museum.
This is my favorite Rubens painting.
The Royal Palace.
The Palace overlooks the serene Parc de Bruxelles.
The United Nations.
Church of St. Nicholas around the corner from the Grand Place. This church dates back to 11th century.
I walked back to the Grand Place and saw this chocolate fountain. Decadent!
In the afternoon, I ventured out to the Atomium. This was built for the 1958 World Fair just like the Eiffel Tower in Paris was built for the World Fair in 1889, and Seattle's Space Needle for the World Fair in 1962.
While I was checking out the structure, I saw someone flying down from the top. This looked fun but I didn't have time to go. This gives me an excuse to come back in the future.
After heading back to city center, I decided to try some Belgian fries while I'm in...Belgium! But this wasn't as tasty as the one in Amsterdam.
I went to see the peeing boy again, and saw that he had an outfit on. I learned that this little statue has over 100 costumes it wears throughout the year. Pretty amusing.
See how small he actually is?
I tried another place for some Belgian waffles and it was great also.
I typically don't like to eat chocolate by itself, but I found my favorite chocolate here in Brussels called Wittamer. These are all chocolates!
Wittamer was close to this flamboyant church, Notre-Dame du Sablon.
I kept walking and came to the Palais de Justice with a wonderful view overlooking city center.
I went back to Wittamer and took a break at their cafe. I had this yummy chocolate shake. Oh my.
Of course, there's Godiva.
For my last meal in Brussels, I decided to dine at a restaurant on the Grand Place. This was my view at dinner.
I had a traditional Belgian dish called "stoemp," which is mashed potatoes and carrots with sausage. Very tasty!
I had a wonderful time on this trip exploring different parts of Europe. I can't wait to go back to Europe again!
View the entire Europe trip photo album here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/purplejoy/sets/72157618396910556/with/3541713855/