No I don’t mean Brussel Sprouts, I mean the country!
Ian recently went back to Brussels for a work trip & managed to take a few pictures for me. Although we’ve travelled to quite a few countries I’ve never been to Brussels. I did look at going with him, we could’ve gone a couple of day’s earlier, I was quite happy to fly home alone, but with it being the week after the New Year & Christmas holiday’s it wasn’t really practical.
He set off for BHX early on the Monday morning & arrived in Brussels early afternoon. They stayed at the Hotel Novotel Brussels Centre Tour Noire. It has recently been renovated. It’s right in the heart of Brussels, about 30mins from the airport.
The hotel in itself was clean & tidy, his room was a decent size, with a massive bed, the room was in Ian’s words “Very Roomy”. Free Wi-Fi was available throughout the hotel. The breakfast was nice, his only complaint, the scrambled eggs were cold! They had a buffet lunch on the next day which he enjoyed.
They didn’t have any meetings for a couple of hours so he went for a wander around, he wanted to get rid of his airplane legs!
He found Place Sainte Catherine (below) which they are renovating. The sand blasting that they were doing looked really good. But as you can see from the picture it’s looking really sad & in need of it’s spruce up.
St Catherine’s Church.
In the evening they headed off to a local Italian restaurant Rugantino & he took some more pictures as they walked along.
Now Italian wouldn’t be Ian’s 1st choice for a meal but he enjoyed it, but would sooner have had a nice steak! Next time!
All over the city they seemed to have had different Christmas Markets on, but sadly they were all packing them away when he walked round. There was a big ferris wheel in Place Sainte Catherine that they were dismantling.
The back end of the stock exchange & some of the remaining market stalls.
The Town Hall
Like most European cities it’s mainly cobbled streets, especially round by Grand Place, where there are a lot of pedestrianised routes.
From looking at his pictures it looks like a beautiful city with lots of history & maybe next time he goes we may look at going a couple of day’s earlier & exploring the city & I can fly back & leave him there (if the price is right!)
Ian’s only real criticism is that they don’t like people using cards. We always have a Euro card we which top up when we go away to save us carrying cash. On arrival at the hotel they wanted a credit card when Ian checked in, they wouldn’t accept his travel card. They didn’t get an imprint of a credit card as he didn’t take any with him. In the shops he had the same problems, no-one liked taking cards so he ended up having to go to the cash machine & drawing out the cash to be able to pay for anything.
I’m not sure if we’re spoilt with going to Tallinn where everyone takes cards & it’s used more than cash is, that we expect all countries to be the same, but sadly it seems Brussels is not hot on it’s technology.
Thankfully we know with our Euro card if we top up, they credit it immediately so if ever it run’s short we can sort it asap & I could’ve topped Ian’s card up if he need more money.
Next stop for Ian on his work travel is Turin, now that’s somewhere I’d like to go, but they don’t do a direct flight from BHX so it’s quite a pain to get to.
But rest assured I will be making him take loads of pictures & telling me all about it.