Chany's Eurotrip '97 Summary















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Dates: 1997 Oct 9, 10, 11

Bruxelles, Belgique

  • We arrived in Brussels, Belgium early in the afternoon of Oct 9. As before, the train ride on the Eurostar Chunnel train was fast and quite smooth.
  • Belgium is a bilingual country. The two official languages are French and Flemish (a dialect of Dutch). It seemed like Brussels was more Flemish than French, but it did also seem like most people knew English.
  • Again, we used the Tourist Information Bureau to book us our hotel. We got a hotel room (Hotel Noga) for 767 Belgian francs per night per person (and includes a continental breakfast). It was a very nice hotel room, complete with carpetting and colour TV (complete with remote control!). Room rating: EXCELLENT .... hey, it had a TV with remote control - need I say more? This was considered a cheap hotel (for Brussels).
  • For a simple subway system, the Brussels system is somewhat confusing. One of the subway lines splits into two, thus you're never sure what train is coming. As well, each subway stop has both a French and a Flemish name, which will not necessarily be similar to each other (for example, Kunst-Wet (Flemish) and Arts-Loi (French) are the same subway stiop!).
  • The late afternoon heavy rains came and promptly drenched us. My gortex jacket kept the upper body dry, but the water flowed off the jacket onto my jeans. The jeans were soaked.
  • The Grand Place is the main town square, with the Town Hall, Brussels City Museum, and the Brewery Museum residing around the square.
  • We saw Brussels' most famous statue, Mannekin Pis. This is a black statue of a boy pissing; a stream of water emanates from his "peeing" organ into a fountain. One of the legends behind the statue is that of a boy who put out a fire by urinating on the flames. Anyway, my first reaction when I say Mr Pis was "that's it?". I thought it was going to be a big statue; it was only about 30 cm tall! It was dressed in an oriental suit (apparently, it has a wardrobe of over 250 outfits).
  • Visited the Musee d'Art Ancien et Moderne (Museum Voor Oude En Moderne Kunsten), the museum that house both old and modern art. There were some amusing modern pieces of art.
  • Left Brussels the morning of Oct 11, for Amsterdam, Netherlands. It's the final day of the European Trip, and our plane leaves out of Amsterdam.

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