After a full day in Rome on Saturday, we flew to Brussels. Unfortunately, the plane left about 45 minutes late so we didn’t arrive at our hotel until 1 AM; long day. We’re staying at the Meridian which has construction in front of it so the entrance has been moved; makes getting in and around the hotel a bit tricky. At that late hour they gave us a suite which was the oddest shape we’d ever seen but it was late and we were tired. The next morning we both took showers and we both flooded the bathroom; bad drain! So we requested a room change. We wound up with a lovely suite (bedroom, separate sitting room almost like a living room and much better bathroom; no floods!)
The 3 towns we visited were similar in that there’s always a huge central square ringed with wonderful old buildings that have lots of statues (and sometimes gold) on them, a major city hall, several churches, several (many in Brussels) museums and charming little streets to wander. We spent a lot of time just walking around taking in the ambiance everywhere.
We spent 2 days touring Brussels, one of which was Monday when the museums (as in most major cities) were closed so we did lots of walking around. (Can you hear Marty groaning from here?!) Rene Magritte is Belgium’s most famous artist. Last year they opened a museum devoted entirely to him. There are over 200 paintings in this museum and we viewed them all; (more groaning!) He is not exactly my cup of tea (chocolate?) but still fun to look at; he was definitely unique. We also went to the Musee d’Art Modern (or their MOMA), to an excavation of the Palais de Charles V, the main synagogue (which was closed but they opened it up for us to see), etc. etc.
We’ve had some wonderful dinners in Brussels. The highlight was tonight’s at Comme Chez Soi which is touted as the best restaurant in Belgium. It originally had 3 Michelin stars but has been demoted to two. I thought it was wonderful. Again, I had dishes that I had never seen before: a mousse of ham, a filet of sole with a mousse of shrimp and a terrific cheese board. They came around and offered seconds of everything! The wine was a Haut Lafite from 1999; really great.
Our second best meal was at a restaurant called Lola (thanks Davi for scouting out Belgium for me!) I had an incredible zucchini soup followed by one of the best chicken dishes (with both white and green asparagus and morels) I’ve ever had.
We also ate in 2 typical brasseries. In one of them I had a wonderful asparagus soup; asparagus are in season here.
So that’s been our trip. I hope you enjoyed “traveling” with us as much as I enjoyed sharing it with all of you. NextHaber Travel Report will emanate from San Diego (where Marty has his annual arbitrators’ conference) in early May.
The Wandering Correspondent