Parc de Bruxelles is where I spent, comparatively, the biggest amount of time while in Brussels because the kids wanted to play and run outdoors. This park was great for us because it is very central, so it was relatively close to our apartment, and it is in a nice part of town, surrounded by museums, galleries and royal palaces.
Around lunch time it gets filled with office workers eating their sandwiches and take away food in plastic boxes; otherwise, it is a pretty quiet place and even the children's playground was completely empty when we were there one morning.
Still in the same park, you can see Andrej by the fountain, about to grab a pebble or piece of trash and throw it into the water. Great fun.
This is Rue du Midi, a street parallel with Boulevard Anspach, leading all the way from Grande Place to the Central train station (Gare du Midi, thus the name). My guidebook described the quarter around the train station as at best seedy by day and threatening by night, so there was no compelling reason to go there. Still, Rue du Midi had a certain charm and a nice coffee place with coffee to go, so I came back a few times. I liked this street corner, with lots of flowers and a warmly-colored facade.
Look at the sky--it's so dramatic and threatening, but in a five minute's time the sun might be shining brightly. After which there might be some rain. And clouds.
The closest I ever experienced to a weather so volatile was when I lived in London, although people say that Brussels is much worse. I didn't it mind it in Brussels--I accepted it as part of the package--but I see how it can get to you after a while. It could be depressing to have so much rain and low-hanging grey clouds for days and months on end (with only brief spells of sunshine). At least they have delicious chocolate (and plenty of it) as an antidote.
I was asked for directions at least once a day every day. People assume that a single mother with two kids on a busy street must be a native because tourism of sightseeing kind and kids do not usually mix. Plus, I looked like I knew where I was going, which was true. It took me one morning to figure out the central area and I ditched the map afterwords--once you're uptown, almost anywhere you go downhill you can't miss the Grande Place. Plus, signposts are plentiful and Brussels is not that big after all.
Boris's claim to fame ("I'm a famous artist") is not entirely unfounded, as you can see. He was very proud that his name was up there--vanity runs in the family (although not so much on my side, akhm...)
BlumengrußFlowers in a Viennese Vestibule
2 days ago