Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Brussels, part 1 (reposted)

I erased this post by mistake and I made it again.

If I could turn back time I am not sure that I can give an exact answer to the question how we decided to go on a trip to Belgium. It is a beautiful country but more known as economic and political center of Europe and less appreciated as a tourist destination. Travel agency programs that you can find, offer 4 or 5 days traveling through the country of Benelux, which means that you are mostly on the bus every day in another city in another hotel. You really see the three countries, you can say that you were there, but if you haven't experienced it, literally run over, trust me, it's like you haven't been there. Since my husband and I were there separately on different occasions (he was in Brugge and I in Brussels), and one to another spoke enthusiastically about each others experience, longtime wish to share impressions together was born. Final decision: “Let's go to Brussels, and we'll see Brugge and Antwerp!“ Finally came the day of departure.
The next morning, after breakfast, we went boldly to "conquer the city." Following the guide, and recommendations of people who were already there (see Trip Adviser before each trip, there you will find useful information), we took the City Tour Hop On- Hop Off. Tour lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes and I recommend it to everyone. When you get on the bus, you get a head set, choose your place and language in which you want to listen to the guide, and let the unknown voice guide you through the beautiful sights of this city in which I fell in love.
The first goal was Atomium. Waiting in line in order to reach the elevator up to highest sphere was worth it. The view from the top is really beautiful, and the fact that you are at the Atomium gives you the feeling that you are near to the top of the world. After coming down from the highest spheres, we took the escalator through pipes to the next sphere and eventually to a small cafe where we had refreshments before continuing with our discovery of the city. An unforgettable, indescribable feeling. Perfect! Stand on top or be under the Atomium is something that can't be described. It simply must be experienced.
After Atomium we went to Mini Europe park. Very nice, pleasant and fun way to spend an afternoon in Brussels. The entire complex is full of small restaurants, each one of them has a flag of one EU member state. We paid cca 13 Euros for a ticket per person, which seems expensive, but when you see what this park is, how much work is needed to create and maintain something like this, it will soon become clear that the price is quite appropriate for what's offered to the public. Walk through this impressive and not so small park has taken its toll. We were very tired and we made a break to eat something, drink and rest.


What followed was a visit to Chinese Pavilion and Japanese Tower located in the park Laken. We caught the last bus and polite driver explained us everything we wanted to know and left us, after a short drive, right in front of the park. We were too late in order to enter the pavilion, but what we found there was fascinating. Some kind of feeling that you are in Brussels, in the center of Europe, and at the same time on another continent in a completely different culture?! Oddly, but nice!!!

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