Only a 15 minute train ride away is the city of Brussels. It would be a shame to be this close and not go there. So we caught the train and off we went.
Eating and drinking the local delicacies is a big part of the trip. Today was a good example. We had Belgium chocolates, Frittes (Belgium french fries. Fried twice is the local way), croquettes, and Belgium beer.
Oh and the city. It is famous for its town square called The Grand Place. It is that. The Town Hall dominates the square with its 300 foot tower (couldn't go up in it). These days the Town Hall hosts royal weddings, Crown Prince Philippe got married here in 1999. Besides all the wonderful buildings around the square it is also lined with restaurants and chocolate shops.
Next was the Brewery Museum. There was one room of old brewing paraphernalia, one room of new brewing paraphernalia, and two videos about brewing. The old building was kind of neat and the glass of beer at the end was tasty.
Next stop St. Catherine Church and the Old Fish Market. The fish market is now just a community square
lined with seafood restaurants. So we continued on to the famous statue called Manneken-Pis. This statue of the peeing boy was made in 1619 to provide drinking water for the neighborhood. The statue was knighted by King Louis XV which meant that French soldiers had to salute the peeing boy whenever they passed by.
After all that excitement and food and drinks it was time to catch the train for home. We had a dinner party to go to-- friends of the owners of our apartment had us over for dinner.
It was an interesting evening. The hostess had our names confused. So I spent the evening answering to "Jerry". But we had told the others guests our names as we were introduced so they really didn't know what to call us!
Paul, the host, is a writer who writes about gardens. And he should know all about them. His garden is amazing and he and his wife, Magda planted it all and care for it all themselves. I have posted several photos of the amazing garden.
The other guest, Gabby, is retired as the school superintendent for the country of Belgium. So we were enjoying
an evening with some pretty knowledgeable people. I tried to sit quietly so as not to show my ignorance! What was amazing to us was that because we were there they all spoke English, and very well. But English is their third or even fourth language. And they spoke it fluently,
As for the dinner it was very nice and we ate outside in the beautiful garden. We started with a nice plate of appetizers -- little crackers topped with various meat spreads. I particularly liked the "tuna" topped cracker. I was midway through my fourth or fifth one when Hostess Magda explained what each topping was. It seems that I was eating NOT eating tuna. I was eating fish liver!!
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