Friday, December 23, 2011

Brussels Day 1

Day one in the daylight!   We woke up late, and headed off to (first) get a waffle, or, more precisely, a "gaufre de liege".   For a nice description of them (and comparison with other less sticky forms, see Andreea's post on them here).   I love these things.  Really and truly love them.  When Bonnie and I were living in Belgium back in 1985, I am sure i ate at least one a day.  The smell of them cooking (when you are down in the metro stations) is absolutely will-power-busting.... closest thing to crack cocaine!  :-)   One of my happiest moments last year was when (following success on the Dragons Den show) a guy set up "Wannawafele" in Victoria, making authentic belgian (liegeois!) waffles.  Ah.... sigh of happiness and contentment!
My appetite/desires temporarily sated, we headed off to the FNAC to see if they had the game code subscriptions for the new Star Wars: Old Republic online game.  Both boys got the game with their christmas money, but we didn't realize you ALSO have to sign up for the monthy subscription before starting.  If you have ever opened the coolest present ever, only to realize that it needs batteries, you have none, and all the stores are closed for the weekend,...well... you will know how both boys felt!  :-)

rue des bouchers
At that point, we headed off to the Grand Place, wandering along the rue des bouchers (bit of a tourist trap, but still a nice walk), where the restaurants were just beginning to open for the day, (yes... we had slept in)... the streets were still mostly empty, shop owners sweeping the cobblestones, and loading boxes of fresh fish and seafood onto piles of snow and ice.

Steve of course wanted a photo of the two of us in front of his very favourite bar, the Delerium Tremens.  Listed in the Guiness Book of World Records, it has a selection of over 2000 different beers.  No wonder the sign names this the Delerium "Monasterium":  a site of religious fervour for the lover of beer!

delerium in action?
Steve's happy place
 Alex took the picture of the two of us in front of the bar.  It may not be quite clear from this picture that it IS indeed Rebecca and Steve. We are not sure the blurriness is because Alex (who was feeling sick) was having difficulty holding the camera straight, or if this is his artistic capture of how the world would look to Steve if he left the bar having sampled all 2000 varieties....

Grand Place
 From there, we headed off to the Grand Place, where it is impossible to get one photo that captures the place.... just a mass of beautiful buildings.  A fantastic square!  I kept having flashback memories of the flower market set up there on weekends.  But for now, the square is filled by the amazingly huge christmas tree, the posts for the electrabel light show in the evenings, and a huge creche (complete with live donkey and sheep).

The high point was when Steve started grilling Duncan on the various characters he could see within.  Steve seemed to have some sort of brain freeze, and mocked Duncan when the kid said he could see Joseph.  "That is MY middle name" Steve said.  "Yes" Duncan answered "It is Mary and JOSEPH!"  "No way" Steve continued, "His name isn't Joseph!" OK.  Seriously.  So... duncan got the last laugh that time!

1 comment:

  1. As you point out, all one has to do in the Grand Place is just tilt the camera up and take a picture of a building -- exquisite.

    As well, I am so happy to read about the live nativity and Duncan's ability to name the characters therein.

    A question for you? Can Duncan also sing Good King Wenceslas? Ta dum, ta dee.


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