Chunnel Challenge 2011 Day Two: Belgium

On day two of our road trip Rebecca, Todd and I stopped in Brussels, Belgium.  I don’t know why, but for some reason I have the worst time remembering if Belgium is the country or the city, so the entire day Rebecca had to remind me that Brussels is the city and Belgium is the country.

We took one of those “hop-on hop-off” tour buses to get a feel for the city.  This is such a beautiful city and I took hundreds of photos.

One of my favorite sights in Belgium is the Atomium, a 335 foot tall replica of an Iron atom.  The building has viewing towers and a restaurant.  It was originally built for the World’s Fair of 1958, but the Belgians decided to keep it around, I am glad they did.

I was also very happy to see the building that houses the European Parliament, which is the legislative branch of the European Union.

After our tour we found the Manneken Pis, which is more commonly called the “Pissing Boy” statue.

There are several legends about the statue but one of my favorites is the one of the little boy who saved the city by extinguishing the fuzes of an invading army’s explosives by urinating on them.  The statue is usually dressed in a tiny costume given by foreign VIPs. We couldn’t figure out what this costume was about, but he was still a very charming statue.

After visiting the statue we stopped for some Belgian Waffles.  I have issues with gluten so I try to limit my consumption of breads and baked goods, but I couldn’t resist having a Belgian Waffle in Belium, and let me tell you, it was totally worth the stomach pains!  I had mine with strawberries and whipped cream drizzled with chocolate.  It was seriously one of the best things I have ever eaten.

On our way out of town the next day I kept seeing these plants that looked like giant artichokes.  Todd pulled over so I could get some pictures and I saw that they were not giant artichokes, they were brussels sprouts.  I can’t believe I found brussels sprouts in Brussels!!!  Actually not really Brussels, but just outside of Brussels.

Here is a closer shot so you can see the little sprouts.

Instead of staying in the city we decided to stay out in the country in a little town called Kortijk.  After checking into our hostel we went in search of food.  The crazy thing about Kortijk is that while there is a downtown, there didn’t seem to be any restaurants, only small cafes.  It took us forever to find a place to eat, but we finally found a place and then called it a night.

Next stop: The Chunnel!

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