Friday, February 22, 2008

Brussels, Belgium

This is how we get to Brussels from Paris. The Thalys train is both fast and efficient and we are so glad to leave all these arrangements up to Jane. She has organized this leg of our trek. We are pretty tired after 10 days of travel. As one of my friends told me...the older you get the less likely you feel that you may have time to return to these wonderful far away places, so you naturally want to cram in as much as you possibly can. Getting to the Gare du Nord requires a Metro ride. I'm glad we've been taking buses all over Paris.



Remember when I made the Martha Stewart gingerbread village at Christmas? Little did I know that I was actually making things to come. This is pretty much how the central square in Brussels looks. Well......without the table, candles and cake stand. It's also a pretty good rendition of Bruges as it turns out, so the next few days are like a whiff of gingerbread and royal icing.This is how the "real" town square in Brussels looks......















The centre of Brussels is an amazing warren of streets with everything from chocolate to lace to take one's attention.











We dined on Moules et Frites and of course the prerequisite beer.

After lunch off to the Musical Intstrument Museum which holds one of the most interesting displays of musical instruments in the world. The building has a beautiful Art Nouveau facade, being the former Old England department store. Once inside, visitors don infrared-controlled headphones and as you stop in front of the instrument displayed, you hear the actual sound played. The music is usually in the traditional style for the instrument. Very novel, with a vast collection of instruments from all over the world. It's amazing how ingenious people are in creating this art form.




There are four floors displaying instruments in the museum. Everything from music boxes, to strings and keyboards. There is a rooftop restaurant with panoramic view of Brussels.








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