It is with mixed feelings we return to Brussels after spending the holidays with family and friends in Australia. We had an amazing time being with loved ones back home, and were sad to have to leave. At the same time, we found ourselves looking forward to getting back “home” to Brussels, and were surprised to realise that we’ve actually developed a fondness for many of the city’s quirks – the loose interpretation of road rules, the gruff customer service, the easy (and likely dangerous!) accessibility of construction and road works sites, and the lack of any sense of urgency. It’s good to be back in Brussels!
On our first weekend outing we couldn’t resist a quick cliché stop at the Grand Place. Without the giant Christmas tree and crowds of holiday tourists, the square seemed larger than ever and even more beautiful than we’d remembered. From there we headed to the Mont des Arts en route to the BIP for a vintage clothing fair “The Dressing Room“, and were reminded that there is never a shortage of things to do in Brussels, with a raft of activities and events taking place in and around the city throughout the year.
Passing through the Sablon at lunchtime we stopped in at Pistolet Original for a bite to eat. As we crammed ourselves into the busy eatery to enjoy a simple sandwich we found ourselves impressed with yet another culinary gem discovered in this foodie city. And since we were now in the throes of winter it seemed only fitting to stop for a Belgian hot chocolate – how convenient that we were in the Sablon, home of Wittamer, one of Brussels’ finest chocolatiers (approved by the Belgian Royal family)!
With the treasured memories of our Australian sojourn still fresh on our minds, we strolled leisurely back to our apartment in Sainte Catherine missing home, but also looking forward to what this next year in our Belgian adventure might have in store for us. There’s still a lot of Belgium to discover, not to mention the almost endless possibilities for travel throughout Europe. We already have trips to Lille, The Hague, and Como in the works for the coming months. 2016 is looking very bright indeed…