Monday, June 27, 2011

Brussels is the Pis

I loved Brussels. Beautiful place, small, friendly, very walkable.

One of the first things we noticed was the street art everywhere. Many works would take up an entire wall, stretching from the ground to the top of the building.

Others were simply awesome.

Then there were the sculptures, which were odd and occasionally inexplicable:

(Giant purple rabbit? What? Our best guess was that it was for Easter. The Coke thing just added to the absurdity of the scene.)

Of course we headed immediately for the Grand Place, which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful contained public squares in Europe. Well, many things claim to be "the most" whatever, but this place was pretty incredible:

There's a huge outdoor flower market that happens here in the spring, but sadly, we weren't there for that.

Then we wandered around, looking for the Mannekin Pis, which is a statue of a little boy peeing that is, for some reason, super famous and the symbol of Brussels. He even gets costumes for holidays. When we found it, my first thought was that it was smaller than I'd expected (no pun intended):

By the way, I thought that there should definitely be a t-shirt with this little guy on them and the words "Brussels is the Pis" (hence the title of the post), but there were none to be found. Tragic.

As we wandered, we were certain to take note of the examples of famous Belgian fare.




Did you know that Brussels is the capital of the European Union? Yeah, we didn't either. But we learned that, and a lot more, at a nifty little park called Mini-Europe. This place was way, way cool. It had miniature models, done to scale and in amazingly exacting detail, of some of the most famous places in the European Union. Some of the highlights:

The Leaning Tower of Pisa:

The Arc de Triomphe:


The Chunnel:


Serious Face:

Parliament and Big Ben:

Windmills Good:

Oil Rigs Bad:

The Eiffel Tower:

Grand Place:

The Atomium, a giant model of an iron atom:


Warrior Rachel:


It was like we saw the whole European Union in a few hours!

That's all for Brussels -- up next, Amsterdam!

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