Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Brussels Tour, Sept 5, 2018, Helen F

Military presence at EU headquarters

Brussels Tour 

Outbound to Leuven Belgium, Day 8 of 24, September 5, 2018
By:  Helen F

FF Leuven hosts show us around Brussels, the capital of Belgium and HQ of European Union…
We took the train into Brussels for a full day of sightseeing.  At the Robert Schuman Plaza our guide Chris brought us to the first of many buildings that house the offices and functions of the European Union.  These include the European Commission, the Austrian Presidency of the EU Council, the International Press Center at the old Residence Palace, and others. 

Our guide, Chris, with a section of the Berlin Wall
A segment of the Berlin Wall has been preserved as a reminder of the costs of war. 

King’s residence
Continuing into the older part of the city, we saw the palace of the King, although today the king does not really live there; it is used for ceremonial purposes. 

The home of the Belgian Parliament is near the royal palace. 

Formal gardens leading to old town
A large plaza of formal gardens and walkways leads to the lower town and its gold-trimmed and ornate buildings.

Ornate buildings in main square

Our lunch of soup, meatballs, fries, and a waffle dessert was at a restaurant on the lower plaza.  Greta led us to see the Manneken Pis, the famous statue of Brussels, and later to find the girl counterpart.

We had two hours of free time, during which some of us returned to the galleria of high-end stores to browse and buy chocolate. 

Waiting for the downpour to stop
About 4 pm the rain started and quickly became a downpour.  Some of us returned to the restaurant where we had lunch and had another drink to say out of the rain.  Although there is much more to see in Brussels, by the time we boarded the train we were glad to call it a day and go home to dry off.

In Friendship and Peace

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