The center of Europe 

IMG_3630As I arrived in Brussels the sky was streaked with wisps of blue, thin layers of clouds fading-through, I could tell it would be a beautiful day. Deciding to forgo the Grand-Place and iconic Manneken Pis.  I wanted to wander the streets in the residential areas, take the time to see this city from a local’s point of view. One year post the tragic terrorist attacks.

I knew I could for once on my own and with a cautious pace meander. I wandered, I watched, and I took my time. Down lonely streets with seldom another person in sight. I noticed the architecture that beholds great beauty.  People going about their business. Seemingly relaxed and happy and others rushed. Reminding myself, it’s Friday, a typical work day here. I listened to the language mainly French scattered every now and again with English.  Everyone with a destination in sight except for me.

This is what I observed…

The cafe’s with their outside seating as if welcoming guests to join them. Groups, singles, dogs all were welcome. The flower shops open with generous displays of what signals spring and life. Heading towards the Place Poelaert I notice the Waffle Truck open for business as usual. Then suddenly I’m stopped dead in my tracks. The military dressed in camouflage and heavily armed. Was I the only one who had a shiver down my back. Standing, watching, warning and not letting any of us forget how this world has changed!

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Just off the Avenue Louise beautiful homes in Brussels
War memorial to the fallen of the 1st World War by British Sculptor Charles Sargeant Jagger on Place Poelaert.  This is also a great place to take in the views of Brussels and sit quietly to enjoy the local vibe.

 

Feeling promise for this beautiful city!

 

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Spring is in the air!
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Everyday the waffle truck is open for business
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Belgium remains on its second highest alert level since the bombings. Soldiers continue to guard many buildings and public areas. I believe the people of Belgium will heal, and stand firm and continue to hope for a better world for everyone. Brussels is a sensational city. With breathtaking views at the Grand-Place and many other sites around the city. It is welcoming to guests from around the world. Give it a try. Find a cafe, sit outside, enjoy one of their famous beers and remind yourself why you travel!

 


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