Monday, 31 October 2011 03:15

Farmers Market, Flea Market, Justice Palace, Beer for Lunch, and a Reindeer Sweater

Written by  Ken Ku
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Royal Palace Royal Palace Ken Ku

Sunday is my favourite day in Europe.  In most of the cities that I've been to there are always fresh flower markets, farmers markets, and people are always just out and about enjoying their day.  Of course it was one thing that I had to get used to when I first got here since grocery stores are not open on Sundays either.  So make sure if you needed to buy food, do it the day before.  Gio, my couch surfing host, and I went spent the day just walking all over Bruxelles.  First we walked down towards Place Flagey.  There was the local flower and farmers market there this morning.  I just stopped to look at a few booths though didn't take very long as we wanted to find a café for a simple breakfast of coffee and maybe a croissant.

However, that didn't really work out.  We ended up at the Palais du Justice.  It is a beautiful building and tremendously huge although it is at the moment unoccupied.  They are doing some restoration work to the building and since there were no signs barring us from entering, Gio and I went in for a closer look.  It is unfortunate that some of the statues have lost their noses but overall the building is in spectacular shape.  We then walked around the outside and I saw the Atomium structure in the distance.  I didn't get a chance to visit it today, but before I leave I will try to visit it as well.

After visiting the Palais du Justice, we continued our search for breakfast and walked down a small alley way and found a square where there was a flea market.  People were selling all kinds of vintage things.  From old paintings, to rugs, to furniture, to rusted antique keys.  I looked at some keys which I thought would make for an interesting pendant but the man wanted to charge me 1€ for something that couldn't be worth more than 10 cents so I left.  There were a lot of vintage cameras there as well and if I wasn't careful, I would have bought all of them!  I saw sweaters and coats being sold and we made our way over to that section of the market and immediately there was a sweater that I knew I had to have.  It had REINDEERS on it!  Awesome!

It was finally time for lunch, no need to have coffee any more.  Now it was time for a beer!  We walked around the square again to find a place to sit down for a drink and food.  Every restaurant seemed to be busy but we did find one that had a vegetarian soup of the day as well as some other specials.  The quiche sounded really delicious but unfortunately it had salmon in it so instead I had the pesto pasta.

After lunch it started to drizzle a tiny bit so we walked around more and wandered to Gare du Midi, the area where I was yesterday when I was waiting for the tram.  Then walked to the Grand Place.  That square is just breathtaking!  I can't believe that they demolished some other similar buildings in order build new modern ones in its place!  These old gothic/baroque structures are so elaborate that it is a shame some were torn down only to be replaced with bland and buildings that are not unique at all.

To finish the day, we stopped in the Cathedral and admired the stained glass as well as a brief rest.  The walk back to Gio's place wasn't too far but along the way we passed the Royal Palace where there were parrots feasting on berries.  I have to say, it has been an extremely eventful day here in Bruxelles!  I don't think I could have done or seen more of a city in one day!  Thank you Gio for showing me all the sites and letting me couch surf!  It certainly has been a wonderful experience!

For more photos of what I saw today go to the Daily Snaps section and check them out!

Last modified on Tuesday, 01 November 2011 05:49
Ken Ku

Ken Ku

A photographer/printmaker/perpetual wanderer going on a backpacking adventure around the world.  Follow my journey as I discover new places and meet new people!



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