Tuesday, August 30, 2011
With the EUPS program, we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit Brussels for a second time. Unlike our first time in the capital city, the sun shined brilliantly. The weather that we encountered was absolutely fabulous (apparently some of the best springtime weather the city had experienced in years) and gave Brussels the glow of a golden wheat beer.
This extraordinary weather allowed me to drink in many new sights the city had to offer and reflect on this melting pot. Brussels is a French speaking island in a Flemish sea; a meeting point for so many different cultures through out Europe. In turn this has created a city with a rich and complex texture, that I believe is overlooked by many.
It is as elegant city while still also being an eclectic mix of groups, truly the capital of Europe in many ways. Sadly one can sometimes miss that in a haze of rain, beer and waffles. But in feverish sunshine or the glow of a Spring night, Brussels burns brightly in technicolor and allows you to experience the city known as Bruxelles (French) or Brussel (Dutch) in all of its glory.
Don't pass up such a luminous city. You will regret it!
I though I should share about this little fellow, Manneken Pis which translates to "Little Man Pee." Although the fountain may seem crude to some, the story behind Manneken Pis is deeply rooted in the city's folklore and seen to represent the spirit of Brussels. According to one legend, the statue was created to honor a little boy who, while hiding in a tree, drove away invading troops by peeing on them. Another says the little boy saved the city during a siege by peeing on a burning fuse that would have set Brussels blaze. Whatever the legend, Manneken Pis is certainly a landmark with close connections to the culture of the city and should not be forgotten (especially since sometimes the fountain has beer flowing instead of water!)