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Welcome to Day 3 of Janet and Randy's Brussels Adventure 2016

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

It was an early night for us (in bed before 9:00pm).  However, due to jetlag, I woke up at 2:30am, and Randy woke up a little while later.  Tried getting back to sleep, but finally just got up and worked on the travel journal.  Around 5:30am, went back to sleep, but I didn't actually fall asleep until 7:30am.  We both slept until 9:30.

We got up, showered and headed downstairs to the hotel restaurant for breakfast (which was included in our room rate).  It was a buffet breakfast, and a person could even make their own waffles (we didn't bother as the waffle station was quite busy).  Luckily the smoked salmon "station" wasn't busy.

After breakfast, we decided to head out to find the famous Brussels statue - the Mannekin Pis.  This is a small statue of a little boy 'peeing' water that every tourist goes to see.  Since we were tourists, we went to see it.  I had a general idea of where the statue was, so we wandered in that direction.  Couldn't find it right away, so pulled out Google maps to get the exact location.  Although, in reality, all we had to do was follow the tour groups, and we would've found it.  Highly overrated !  Little dude is at most 3 feet high and it's set back a ways from the sidewalk almost on the wall of the building.

Belgian coffeeI managed to get a couple pictures of the statue without any selfie sticks in the way, and then we got out of there as the tourists were driving me nuts.  We walked back over to the Grand Place and went to the Hard Rock Cafe so Randy could get some more collector pins, then called in to the 250 Beers store (Randy's new nirvana place) for Randy to buy some more beer.  We had discovered that the mini bar in our room was actually just an empty fridge, so Randy bought six beers to fill the fridge up (some were recommendations of the guy working at the store).

We dropped off the beer and souvenirs and headed over to the Christmas Market near Sainte Catherine church.  I encouraged Randy to have a 'Belgian Coffee' - which was his favourite beer, Chimay, with coffee, a sweetener and whipped cream.  Sounded good in theory, but it basically tasted how you think beer and coffee mixed together would taste. 

After this 'breakfast of champions', we decided to go ride the Ferris Wheel (called "The View" (so you could capitalize on the 'breakfast of champions') since there wasn't any big line-up this early in the day.  The Ferris Wheel provided a nice view of the Christmas Market and of Brussels.  Before departing we got this lovely shot of us and Santa !

Us with SantaWe then meandered our way back to the hotel, checking out a couple shops on the way.  At this time (1:30pm), we were both a little weary, so decided to lay down for a nap.  I ended up sleeping until 3:30pm (which felt great!).  Now we were ready to go back out to do some more wandering around.

Around 5:00pm we wandered over to the Christmas Market near the Ferris Wheel to see what it was like at night time.  Definitely a lot more people, but it was cool to see the Ferris Wheel all lit up.

Randy had checked out some nearby restaurants on Yelp to see where a person should go to have supper.  As it was nearing dinner time, we went to a restaurant called La Fin de Siecle.  It was a tavern-type restaurant with the food menu listed on chalk boards.  Randy had read that their beef stew (made with Chimay beer) was very good, so he ordered that.  I had the penne ragu - which had tender chunks of pork in it.  Both meals were very good and very filling (read hearty)

After supper, we went back to the Grand Place to watch the light show again.  This time we noticed some Belgian military wandering around with big guns.  I guess there is still some concern after the Paris attacks.  After the show, we decided to head over to the Sainte Catherine cathedral where there was another light show.  We got there 10 minutes before the show started, so we warmed up with some hot chocolate.

Sainte Catherine light showThe Sainte Catherine show was okay, but not as amazing as I thought it would be.  It was interesting in that various moving patterns were displayed on the church, but it was much dimmer than I thought it would be.  I'm glad I saw it, but I don't think I will bother going to see it again.  Check out the videos link to get an idea of what it was like.

We headed back to the hotel, stopping to look at some of the wares being sold in the Christmas Market.  Then it was back to the hotel to get off our feet and to get all our cameras charged up for our trip to Bruges and Ghent the next day. And to try out some more of the beers I picked up earlier in the day... Happiness !

 

 

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