Second day with the family in Brussels
Start fresh with a Brusselicous Breakfast
This morning breakfast is full of Brussels flavours with local produce galore. What an excellent idea.
While I hunt for bargains, Henry decides to re-live his favourite film and find a replica of the Unicorn, the famous three-mast vessel from his favourite comic strip.
He gets his father and sister involved in the hunt, and they also soon start looking around every stall. But to no avail. Nevertheless, he does find the famous red and white rocket to bring back home.
We continue our walk along the rue Blaes and the rue Haute, where I stop in front of a number of lovely window shops. It’s a haven for interior decoration fanatics like me.
The children start getting impatient, “mummy, you’re taking too long”, and my husband chimes in too. To get me to move on, he promises to take me to Brussels again, for a romantic getaway.
Walk around Saint-Gilles
We arrive at the Porte de Hal, a monument that looks like a fairy castle and is one Brussel's last mediaeval vestiges. A fascinating museum has been set up inside the building with a wonderful collection about life in Brussels during the Middle-Ages. We don’t have time to visit it this time unfortunately, but next time for sure!
Before taking the metro towards the Heysel plateau, we hop to the parvis de Saint-Gilles, only 200m from the Porte de Hall. The square is very lively and popular, and Sunday happens to be market day too! There's a great atmosphere, and its cafes and restaurants are a favourite spot with artists and alternatives who like to go there for a drink, some food or just relax.
We buy some bio sandwiches, dairy products, fresh apple juice and artisan patisseries for the little picnic that we're going to have by the Atomium.
Now we're in the metro, on our way to Heysel.
Family visit to the Heysel Plateau and Atomium
© WBT - ThomasBlairon.be
The Atomium, the most popular attraction in the city, is amazing. All four of us are stunned.
Once inside we can already feel the excitement of climbing up to the highest ball where we enjoy a magnificent 360 ° panorama.
There is also a restaurant, but we decide to continue exploring the other balls, where exhibitions are held. Henry wants to visit ALL the balls. We manage 5.
Charlotte has made up her mind: she wants to be an architect when she grows up. She announces it once we get out. In any case, she’s written down the name of the architect, André Waterkeyn, who designed the unique project.
The European Union's most beautiful monuments await us at Mini Europe.
We find ourselves at the heart of Europe, so we naturally head for Mini-Europe and travel through 27 different countries at record speed. As soon as we set foot inside, the mascot comes to greet us. We’ll finally all be in a picture together.
More than 300 monuments are represented with the slightest details in scale, taking us to all four corners of the continent. From the Big Ben to the Acropolis, the Eiffel Tower and the crumbling Berlin wall. We can hear the clicking of pictures being taken from every side. We can even see the Ariane rocket take off and Mount Vesuvius erupt.
© Mini-Europe / © Océade
As we leave the children convince us to move on to another destination already.
Unfortunately we don’t have time to relax at Océade water park with its tropical atmosphere and temperatures along with its 14 slides, the biggest wave pool in Belgium, jacuzzis, Turkish baths, etc., in short, all you need to have fun and unwind with the family, really close to Mini Europe.
To end a lovely day, we opt for a traditional evening in the centre of Brussels.
© WBT - ThomasBlairon.be
We push on towards the centre of town, and stop to savour a good Geuze beer, while the children fancy a nice warm Belgian waffle.
A stone's throw from the Saint-Géry quarter, we stop to take a break. It's great to enjoy this precious family moment.
Our thoughts go to Granma and Grampa so we send them a pretty postcard to tell them we love them more than ever.
For our last evening in Brussels we go to Chez Léon de Bruxelles. You didn’t thinking we’d miss out on the traditional dish of mussels and French fries, did you?
And the restaurant also has special prices for children (it’s free for under 12s!). We start planning what to do tomorrow, for our last day.
We end the evening with a walk along the little alleys around the Grand Place. We’re sure to get a good night’s rest after such a full day.
Henry falls asleep looking at his rocket while Charlotte avidly reads a comic strip.
Sleep well kids!