Back from Brussels

Well I had an excellent time in Brussels last week, what a pleasant city. We stuck to the Royal Quarter and Sablon areas and the Grand Place and Ilot Sacre areas for those who know Brussels, as we were only there for 4 nights. It’s a very walkable city as those areas have a lot of the famous bits such as the Grand Place and the Art Gallery, or more properly the Musees Royaux des Beaux – Arts, which has a great Magritte Museum now too. The bars were quaint too, the people who live there all seem to have dogs, something I’ve noticed in other European city centres; I was taken by an excellent pug who came to us for some fuss when we said hello and called him beautiful. I wonder if his owner thinks English people don’t see many dogs. It always makes me miss George, our dog, when I’m away and see all these canines. He’s not so well behaved as they are.

Notre Dame du Sablon is a wonderfull church with fantastic stained glass windows, and an amazing pulpit. The Cathedral is wonderful too, but Notre Dame was my favourite. I was struck also by the way the Grand Place contained peoples voices as if it were a room, very strange accoustics. The Hotel de Ville was a bit stunning too. We went to Bruges on the train for one day too. It was definitely a bit National Trust at first, although it was lovely and indeed people live there, it’s not a film set,[ although it was fairly recently for “In Bruges”] then is more like a city when you move towards it’s centre. I liked both aspects, and the de Garre beer we had in the secret little bar. Of course we had to go on a boat trip around the canals, or really the moats, as they were dug as defences in the 12th century. Anyway it was a good time with lots of pictures taken, and a full on European cold picked up from a rather smelly Eurostar on the way there. Fortunately it took its time coming out and arrived fully on my first day of a trade fair I’m doing at the NEC in Birmingham, the day after I got back from hols. People were visibly stepping away from me as the full extent of the nose action became clear, so today I’m at home trying to get rid of it and my daughter, who is wonderful, is there for me. She’s counting it as a useful experience though so that’s good. I now have a bit of time to sort a few images so beware, I’ll be posting a few, but not many as other peoples’ holiday pics can be less than exciting I know. So I’ll keep it down to about 50 or 60…