18

DECEMBER, 2013

Brussels I have to admit is not as bad as I had expected. I had heard many negative stories about racial terror, pickpockets, demonstrations, ugly 70’s architecture & more besides but as I was working in Vilvoorde, north of the city I felt it my duty to have a look for myself at the weekend & I am glad I did too. Brussels is actually a very interesting city with some lovely parks. Architecturally too the city has some real highlights on offer.

We continued to the Metro & took a ride to where the European Commission is situated at Schuman & were appalled just how this modern piece of architecture in glass & steel has been set in the middle of a residential area, full of delapidated buildings. I expected vast, green areas of park landscape with modern pieces of sculpture & flowerbeds but on the contrary we were met by rubbish sacks & ongoing roadworks with small litter lined streets & alleys. The weather didn’t help either, the sky was overcast & it rained now & again adding to the gloom. We didn’t look much further & sought refuge in an Irish pub opposite & had lunch. Afterwards we made our way back down town by foot thinking that if this is how it looks where Europe is governed then in what state are our countries in as a whole?

With an overcast sky & a cold breeze, a catnap on top of the heating beats being outside.

Photograph by Douglas Stevens Photoviewz

The rest of the afternoon was spent meandering through the old part of town, through the main shopping areas & a short look at Brussels most popular statue the Manneken Pis. Again I expected something different.  The famous statue is located at the junction of Rue de l’Étuve/Stoofstraat & Rue du Chêne/Eikstraat on a very busy corner opposite a Godiva chocolatier, an unobtrusive piece of art that one could easily miss in passing by. To learn more about the history of this world renowned statue: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manneken_Pis

The Euro flags adorn the front of Brussels European Commission building.

Photograph by Douglas Stevens Photoviewz

“For a moment the wind let up & the sun was just about to disappear behind the horizon. I couldn’t believe my luck, this was to be my reward for the effort of getting up this morning.”

Having a pee in the middle of Brussels.

Photograph by Douglas Stevens Photoviewz

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