Next destination: Brussels, Belgium

Sunday, September 3, 2017

2 days in Brussels - 2 zile in Bruxelles


Brussels. the capital of the European Union, is an amazing place to go any time of the year. And I'm saying this because the weather there is very unprediclable and one moment it's a most beautiful sunny day and the next moment it could start raining for just a little and then it would stop and it'd be sunny again. So it doesn't matter very much if you visit Belgium in spring, summer or fall because it's kind of the same. You just need to be lucky. 

Bruxelles, capitala Uniunii Europene, este un loc minunat in care poti merge in orice perioada a anului. Si spun asta pentru ca acolo vremea este mereu imprevizibila: acum e cea mai frumoasa zi insorita si peste cateva momente incepe sa ploua pentru putin, iar apoi se opreste si este soare din nou. Deci nu prea conteaza daca vizitati orasul primavara, vara sau toamna deoarece e cam acelasi lucru. Trebuie doar sa fiti norocosi pentru a prinde mereu vreme buna.

The first thing you should to once you get there is to attend Btussels' free city tour by Sandemans. You should book it online in advance and select there the date and the time. I promise that you won't regret it. Brussels' main objectives are all very close to each other but it's very easy to miss them as you don't always know where to look. Our guided tour lasted for 3 beautiful hours and we learned a lot about the city while walking through it. Fraser was our guide and we liked him a lot, he was so passionate about everything and made us love Brussels from the first second. 'Grand Place' or 'The Big Square' is the zero point of the city and here's where you'll meet with your guide, in front of the big tower of the city hall. 

Primul lucru pe care trebuie sa il faceti odata ce ajungeti acolo este sa mergeti la turul gratuit al orasului organizat de Sandemans. Va trebui sa faceti o rezervare online si sa selectati ziua si ora. Va promit ca nu o sa regretati. Principalele obiective ale Bruxelles-ului sunt foarte aproape unele de celelalte, dar e foarte usor sa le ratati pentru ca nu stiti intotdeauna incotro sa va uitati. Turul nostru a durat 3 ore frumoase si am invatat o gramada despre oras in timp ce l-am parcurs pe jos. Ghidul nostru a fost Fraser si ne-a placut tare mult de el, era foarte pasionat si ne-a facut sa ne indragostim de Bruxelles din prima clipa. 'Grand Place' sau 'Piata mare' este punctul zero al orasului si aici este si locul unde va veti intalni cu ghidul, in fata turnului mare al primariei. 


So our tour started in Grand Place where you can admire plenty of important buildings. Here you'll find Hotel de Ville (the city hall), Maison du Roi (the king's house) where currently is the City Museum, Belgian Brewers Museum, some terraces where you can stop to eat and drink. Around  this square start lot of small streets full of shops and bars. 

Turul nostru a inceput in Grand Place, unde puteti admira o multime de cladiri importante. Aici veti gasi Hotel de Ville (Primaria), Maison du Roi (Casa regelui) care acum este Muzeul Orasului, Muzeul de bere, niste terase unde va puteti opri. In jurul pietei incep o multime de stradute pline de magazine si baruri. 

Near Grand Place is Everard t'Serclaes statue whose forearm you have to touch. It's a local hero that makes everyone's wishes come true. Moreover, if you touch its forearm you assure your return in Brussels.

Langa Grand Place este statuia Everard t'Serclaes, al carei antebrat trebuie sa il atingeti. Este un erou local care implineste dorintele tuturor. Mai mult, daca ii atingeti antebratul va asigurati revenirea in Bruxelles. 
 

Manneken-Pis is the city's symbol. It represents a little boy peeing and the legend sais that the spot where it's placed used to be the market where little children would sell their urine. Brussels used to be an important spot on the world map where urine was sold for the ammonia that was hard to obtain those days. You might be a little disappointed to see that the statue is very small and secured with bars so you will only see it from the distance. That is because it was stolen 7 times until now. 

Manneken-Pis este simbolul orasului. Reprezinta un baietel care urineaza si legenda spune ca locul unde este amplasata obisnua sa fie o piata unde copiii isi vindeau urina. Bruxelles a fost un loc important pe harta lumii unde urina era vanduta pentru amoniacul care era pe atunci greu de obtinut. Probabil veti fi putin dezamagiti sa vedeti ca statuia e destul de mica si securizata cu gratii, deci o puteti vedea doar de la distanta. Asta este pentru ca a fost furata de 7 ori pana acum.

The feminine version of this statue is Jeanneke-Pis, an ever smaller statue which you will find on one of the small streets if you wander around the Grand Place. 

Varianta feminina a acestei statui este Jeanneke-Pis, o statuie chiar mai mica pe care o veti gasi pe una dintre stradutele din jurul pietei mari.  

Our guide also showed us La Bourse, near which you will find the oldest church in town - St. Nicholas - and also the best place to eat belgian fries.  

Ghidul nostru ne-a aratat si cladirea Bursei, langa care este si cea mai veche biserica din oras, Sfantul Nicolae, dar si cel mai bun loc unde puteti savura cartofi prajiti belgieni. 

Then we went to Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert where you will find some covered streets, full of shops where you can get lost for a little while. 

Apoi am mers la Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert unde veti gasi niste stradute acoperite, pline de magazine unde va puteti pierde pentru un timp. 

On our way to Mont des Arts, we stoped to admire the imposing Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, a Roman Catholic church built in gothic style.

In drumul nostru spre Mont des Arts, ne-am oprit  sa admiram impunatoarea  Catedrala Sf. Michael si Sf. Gudula, o biserica romano-catolica in stil gotic. 

We also passed by the Royal Palace, which is free to visit all August except Mondays, as the royal family goes on vacation this month.  

Am trecut si pe langa Palatul Roial, pe care il puteti vizita gratuit toata luna august exceptand zilele de luni, deoarece in aceasta luna familia roiala pleaca in vacanta.

Mont des Arts (the Mountain of Arts) was the last stop of our tour. From here, you have a beautiful view of the city and you will also find the chime here. 

Mont des Arts (Muntele Artelor) a fost ultima oprire a turului nostru. De aici aveti o priveliste frumoasa a orasului si tot aici este si carillonul.

The Jacquemart Carillon clock is on the arch between the Palace of Congress and the Palace of Dynasty. It has 24 bells and 12 statues representing important figures of Belgium. On the top of the clock is a bronze moving statue weighing 1750 kg, that beats the bell every hour. 

Ceasul Jacquemart Carillon este pe arcul ce leaga Palatul Congresului si Palatul Dinastiei. Are 24 de clopote si 12 statuete ce reprezinta fiecare persoane importante ale Belgiei. Sus este o statueta din bronz ce cantareste 1750 kg, care se misca si bate clopotulul la fiecare ora. 

As our guide recommended, we then headed to the Palace of Justice, the place with the most beautiful view of the city. On our way, we saw the Notre-Dame Cathedral which is located in the bohemian district of Sablon. Near it, you will also find MIM (the Musical Instruments Museum), a museum we heard a lot about and wished to visit. Inside it, you will find a lot of rare instruments disposed on 4 floors. You receive an audio guide and when you are close to an instrument in starts playing. Also, there is a great view of the city at the top. Unfortunately, they had a problem with the audio guides that wasn't going to be fixed until middle September so we didn't go inside. 


La recomandarea ghidului nostru, ne-am indreptat apoi spre Palatul Justitiei, locul cu cea mai frumoasa priveliste a orasului. Pe drum, am vazut Catedrala Notre-Dame, pe care o gasiti in cartierul boem Sablon. Langa ea este MIM (Muzeul Instrumentelor Muzicale) unde ne-am dorit tare mult sa mergem. Inauntru sunt o multime de instrumente rare dispuse pe 4 etaje. Primiti un ghid audio, iar cand va apropiati de un instrument incepe sa cante melodia acestuia. De asemenea, se poate urca in varf  pentru o panorama a orasului. Din pacate, era o problema cu ghidurile audio si urmau sa fie reparate doar la mijlocul lui septembrie, deci nu am intrat. 

You can spend some time in the district of Sablon and walk in Petit Sablon park and Grand Sablon square. The buildings and the streets will fascinate you and you will also be able to experience a little of the genuine belgian life. 

Puteti petrece putin timp in cartierul Sablon si sa va plimbati in parcul Micului Sablon sau in Piata Marelui Sablon. Cladirile si strazile va vor fascina si veti putea in acelasi timp sa experimentati putin din viata belgiana autentica. 

We arrived at the Palace of Justice, the perfect spot to watch the sunset. The views are spectacular. Here you'll also find a glass elevator that will get you down in the city for free. 

Am ajuns la Palatul Justitiei, locul perfect pentru a urmari apusul. Privelistea este una spectaculoasa. Aici veti gasi si un lift din sticla care va va cobori inapoi in oras, gratuit. 

In between everything, we admired the street art of Brussels, which believe me, it's everywhere. From mural paintings to sculptures and statues that are basically at every step, Brussels always has something to say. 

Printre toate, am admirat arta stradala a Bruxelles-ului, care credeti-ma ca este peste tot. De la picturi murale la sculpturi si statuete care sunt la fiecare pas, Bruxelles are mereu ceva de transmis. 

In the evening we returned to Grand Place. The streets are so beautiful in the evening, full of murmur, full of art, full of life, full of lights. It was the place we went back to every night and still couldn't get enough of it. The city hall and the buildings near it are even more beautiful in the dark. 

Seara ne-am intors la Grand Place. Strazile sunt atat de frumoase seara, pline de murmur, pline de arta, pline de viata si pline de lumini. A fost locul in care ne-am intors in fiecare seara si tot nu ne-a ajuns. Primaria si cladirile de langa ea sunt chiar mai frumoase in intuneric. 

On the second day we went to Atomium, where you can only get by metro as it is 6 km far from Grand Place. It is 102 m tall and it has a panorama over the city. We waited for about 20 minutes to buy the tickets and then for another 20 minutes to get to the elevator that goes to the top. This elevator used to be one of the fastest in Europe, going up 92 m in 22 seconds. After seeing the panorama which honestly isn't very spectacular from 92 m, we continued our visit in the 3 other spheres which are open to the public. Here you will find an exposition of photographs, documents and models from the original event for which the atom was created. In my opinion, Atomium isn't one of the must-go places in Brussels. It wasn't spectacular and if you don't have much time to spend in the city you don't miss very much if you don't come here. There are plenty of other beautiful places to see. 

A doua zi am mers la Atomium, unde puteti ajunge doar cu metroul deoarece este la 6 km de Grand Place. Are 102 m inaltime si ofera o panorama a orasului. Am asteptat aproximativ 20 de minute sa luam biletele, apoi alte 20 de minute pentru liftul ce ne ducea sus. Acest lift obisnuia sa fie cel mai rapid din Europa, urcand 92 de m in 22 de secunde. Dupa ce am vazut panorama care, sa fiu sincera, nu era cine stie ce de la 92 m, ne-am continuat vizita in alte 3 sfere care sunt deschise publicului. In ele veti gasi o expozitie de fotografii, documente si modele de la evenimentul original pentru care a fost creat atomul. In opinia mea, Atomium nu este un loc in care trebuie neaparat sa mergeti. Nu a fost foarte spectaculos si daca nu aveti mult timp de petrecut in oras, sunt o multime de alte locuri pe care le puteti vedea.
Mini Europe seen from the Atomium


Then we went to Mini Europe to take a mini trip through the European Union. All models are built down to the finest detail at a scale of 1:25.

Apoi am fost la Mini Europa pentru a face o mini excursie in Uniunea Europeana. Toate modelele sunt construite dupa cel mai mic detaliu, la o scala de 1:25.
Copenhagen
Stockholm
Brussels
Leuven
Bruges
London
Paris
Paris
Pisa
Zagreb
Athens
Another must see is the European Parliment. Some rooms can be visited but only if you make a reservation 3 months in advance. There is also the Parlamentarium, the visitors center that can be visited for free and without reservation. 

Un alt loc pe care trebuie sa il vedeti este Parlamentul European. Unele camere pot fi vizitate insa doar daca faceti o rezervare cu 3 luni inainte. Mai este Parlamentarium, centru care poate fi vizitat gratuit si fara o rezervare prealabila. 

There are two last things to do for your full belgian experience: drink belgian beer and eat waffles. There is a wide variety of both. In Belgium, they drink each beer from its special glass. If you cannot decide which one to choose, you can buy from most bars a tray of 6 or 8 different types of beer in smaller glasses. The waffles never made it in a picture because they were just too good not to be eaten right away. 

Mai sunt doar doua lucrui pe care trebuie sa le incercati pentru o experienta belgiana adevarata: berea belgiana si vafele. Este o varietate larga pentru amandoua. In Belgia, fiecare bere se bea din  paharul ei special. Daca nu va puteti hotari pe care sa o alegeti, puteti lua de la majoritatea barurilor o tavita cu 6 sau 8 tipuri diferite de bere in pahare mai mici. Vafele nu au reusit niciodata sa ajunga in poza pentru ca erau prea bune sa nu fie mancate imediat. 

11 comments:

  1. Haha, I've heard so many different stories about the Pissing Boy it's hard to tell what's true. And the pissing girl opens to one of the premium beer joints in town, Delerium. Gonna definitely check out mini-Europe next time I'm there.

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  2. I love it. Thanks for sharing. I've never been out of the US but I would definitely love to check out these sites.

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  3. I am desperate to go to Bruxelles! I have bee to Antwerp though so am equally as well versed in beer & waffles! Cool post :)

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  4. Wow! I didn't realize that Belgium was so incredibly beautiful! Absolutely stunning! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. This is a must visit.I love places with such beautiful buildings,i can stare at them for hour and hours.I love this detailed post,definetly bookmarkingit for later

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  6. Who knew there was so much to do in Brussels? One of my friends visited and literally the only things I remembered from her trip were her tales of Belgian waffles and of course, the little peeing boy. Crazy to think that the statue has been stolen seven times! The Royal Palace seems like it would be really cool to visit, especially since it's free to do so.

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  7. Its so nice to read about my city, glad to know you did like visiting this small city. thank you for sharing this.

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  8. Those buildings looks so stunning. Such a great architecture, so detailed info. Wanna go to Bruxelles.

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  9. I'm so mind-blown with that beer special glass!!

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  10. Lovely post!! I am in love with Royal Palace.. I wish I could travel to Bruxelles right now..

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