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Sunday, 2 November 2014

Brussels by Day

I haven't any projects to show you today, but thought you might like to take a trip down memory lane with me.  We delayed our departure after convention to an evening train so we could have a day sight-seeing in Brussels and I'm so glad we did!  It's a beautiful city!  This post is picture heavy, so I hope you're sitting comfortably - enjoy!

This is Agora Square where there were market stalls setting up Sunday morning - and there was sunshine!

There were the usual trinkets....

These baskets filled to the brim with "fruit" - can you guess what they really are?...Soaps!

....clay fridge magnets depicting Brussels architecture

plump, well fed chickens - it made me want to pick them up and stroke them!

and these beautifully handcrafted wooden personalised plaques!

Also in the square there is a memorial fountain  in honour of Brussels' Mayor, Charles Karel Buls, from1881 to1899 remembered for his fight to vote for laws to preserve and fund the restoration of some of the best known jewels of the city like the Grand Place which is now considered a UNESCO World Heritage site.

A few steps from the Grand Place we found the Galeries Royale - Saint Hubert, the first glassed-in shopping centre in Europe and features a glass barrel vaulted roof  used in  Italian Neo-Renaissance architecture.   It was designed by a young architect Jean-Pierre Cluysenaar in 1836, constructed in 1846 and inaugurated in 1847 by King Leopold and his two sons. The gallery comprises three sections, the King's Gallery, the Queen's Gallery and the Prince's Gallery.

When the gallery opened, it became a favourite meeting place for artists and intellectuals like Victor Hugo and Alexander Dumas so it came as no surprise when we found this Museum for Manuscripts with Victor Hugo's work taking pride of place.

It is also home to Meert (founded in 1761) the oldest patisserie in Brussels  who are reputed to make the finest waffles in Brussels using a closely guarded secret recipe developed in 1761 which they still continue to use today.

There was a selection of flavours to choose from, I was tempted to buy one of each flavour, but didn't have room in my suitcase!

Needless to say, they were very well received when I got home and true to its reputation, absolutely delicious and truly unique!

There were chocolatiers galore - all claiming to be the best, so it really comes down to taste and budget!

There were also some very fine lace shops.....

I think that's enough for today!  Pop back for a sequel for the rest of the tour of the city and a horse-drawn carriage ride!

Happy Sunday!  Today is the real day off I've had in an age and hubby has cried off his archery day as the weather is so bad - so that has to be a bonus and then off to the theatre tonight to see Dancing in the Street! Yay!

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