On my map: Brussels


This one was the last trip I will have for the next year... I decided to have a break and not travel so much. This year I already went to London twice, Holland twice, Milan, Athens, Copenhagen and now Brussels. I'm tired!
I'm tired of leaving my comfort zone, spending money, not resting properly... Seriously need some rest and routine. Need to take care of my dog and cats, also. Need to slow down for a while.

On every trip I know I will get out of my comfort zone, although is good to push your limits, that can be also scary. Remember I travel all alone, so if something happens I only have myself to count with. And sometimes that's scary... New places you never been and sometimes places with bad reputation... new people, well you get the idea.

Moving on... I had this trip arranged a few months ago and I had the needed time to prepare however without my guide-map from Editora Estampa I don't know how to organize my trip. Feel so lost...
I'm trying to find a good substitute, so far didn't succeeded.
This time I had lonely planet book and it was very disappointing. The map was incorrect, the review of sightseeing places were not very well organized in my opinion, of course. And I didn't know where all the museums where because I didn't had a map with all of them marked. didn't like it.

Brussels is a city that starts running a bit late. Normally museums only open at 10 in the morning, even coffee shops open late. For me, who like to start the day soon, around 8 in the mourning (!!), this reduced the museums I went, due the little time I was there.

Saw all the main attractions of the city, grand place, atomium, the cathedral, the parliament, manneken pis and the museum of fine arts, among others places.
By the way, the museum of fine arts has combined tickets at very low prices and there is a City Card with option of Hop on Hop off bus, which you can used to enter in all main museums for free. More info here: http://visitbrussels.be/bitc/BE_en/minisite_brusselscard.do

I have a few friends in Belgium so I meet up with one of those friends, Lise. She even took half day off work to go with me around the city. We had lunch at this amazing typical Belgian pub and I ate stew which I cannot remember the strange name. But it was so good! Lise, thank you so much!! Kisses.
I also discovered Belgium beers. I like strong beers and they have very much strong ones, some with 13% of alcohol. But good, like for example, Hopus or Orvel. Those two are not available in every bar, apparently... Because they are Trappists, you can read more about it, below.

The first day, the weather was a bit cloudy but with sun and it was great for sightseeing. The other 2 days the weather was better, sun and a bit warm, except on saturday... too cold in the morning.

The food
Belgium like to eat as they like to drink. They are a passionate by mussels and almost all touristic restaurants have mussels. But, myself as portuguese and living near the beach, I eat mussels and seafood all the time, so I didn't tried it. But I tried other specialties, like the stew, Belgian fried, waffles and the chocolate.
Oh yes, they love their waffles! And are very proud about chocolate.
The food as the chocolat is expensive, around 20 euros a meal each person.

Cow stew with beer

The beer
Belgium along with Germany is well known for its beers.
They are very proud of it and there are hundreds of brands. Some are a bit rare, specifically the Trappists. By the way, did you know the authentic Trappist beer are handmade by monks?
And because they are handmade the stock is limited. Another curiosity, each brand as its own cup of its beers.
I advice you to try Orvel and Hopus, however they are strong beers. If you prefer lighten, go for blonde Leffe, La chouffe or Duvel.

This was my first flight with Ryanair and it was pleasant. I actually enjoyed very much the flight back home because the crew was do friendly, specially one guy. I laughed a couple of times with him.
Funny fact, I used this low cost parking system and on my way back to the parking I was on the same van has 2 of cabin crew girls.

- Go to Info points around the city for a good map.
- There are some free walking tours in Brussels, you can search them online.
- Brussels is a very small city, in just 3 days you may see most if the major sites. If you go there with more time, go to Antwerp or Burgs.
- Use the sightseeing buses to go around the city, you will save money.
- Most of the restaurants include the service in the bill, so you don't need to give tips.
- There are over 100 museums in Brussels, like Chocolate Museum, Clock Museum and other more famous like Magritte Museum or City Museum, so i would advice you to search and select a couple of those you really want to see.

I leave you with some pictures of my trip. Hope you like it :)
I also took a small video of our landing, specially when the aircraft was crossing the clouds. Its always fun to watch.

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