Brussels - Belgium chocs and family bliss

Posted by ~Summer~ on November 09, 2012

I remember the first time I set foot in the Grand Place in Brussels back in 2007.

It took my breath away.

At that time, I had never really stepped out of Asia before and thus the beautiful architecture of Europe was something unseen and thus, charmed me in a way I had never felt before. I was young, curious, perky and deeply in love. So being able to indulge in delightful Belgium chocolates, sip a cup of beer and lay down amidst the square to watch the lighting show which uses the awe-inspiring Gothic Town Hall as a canvas, that was pure heaven.

Alas as you probably have read in my other posts, we lost all our precious photos and videos of that Europe tour when we got pickpocketed in Barcelona.  Nonetheless, some memories will remain in your heart for eternity.

When the hubby and I were planning for our winter holidays last year, we decided to re-visit this gorgeous city. Something better. We were bringing both our parents. Something even better. We had our lovely Angel with us this time round.

Yes, from a honeymoon of two to a family trip of seven, Brussels, we are back!

If there's one thing I cannot resist, it is chocolates.

Especially if you are in the country renowned for it. Over 172,000 tons of chocolate is produced per year with more than 2,000 chocolate shops throughout Belgium. If you are a chocolate lover, you easily get lured to these sweet treats; if you are not, you might jolly well fall into the trap and start to love it.

I like to think that chocolates make me happy and loved. After all, they are associated with happy memories and known as a love drug since they contain phenylephylamine - the same hormone the brain triggers when you fall in love. Not scared of getting fat? Well, I'll think about that when the holiday is over.

Since our parents don't really dig western food, we managed to find this Chinese restaurant nearby the Grand Place where a Chinese guy was publicly displaying his kung fu noodle making ability, which seemed to successfully capture the attention of curious passers-by.

Aside from that, we did persuade our parents to try out 'new' food like white wine mussels and escargots. Are you a fan of escargots? I am so not, but I did try my first ever right here in Brussels. Probably no more second for me, thankyouverymuch.

The Grand Place is the central square of Brussels and as the most important tourist attraction here, it is surrounded by the city tower, guildhalls and striking 300-year-old buildings, making it a distinct and memorable landmark.

When the sun has set and the moon surfaces, bright illumination lights up the square and turns it into a ravishing beauty. It is of no wonder that in 2010, the Brussels Grand Place was voted as the most beautiful square in Europe.

If you have not heard of the peeing boy statue, well, it is found right here in the heart of Brussels. The Manneken Pis, a small bronze fountain sculpture depicting a naked little boy urinating, has become the most famous landmark in the city.

How tall is the statue?

Well, just two-thirds of Angel at 61cm.

I was hoping to see him dressed up in costumes as I had learnt that he had a wardrobe filled with hundreds of vibrant and fascinating costumes and he would don them every week. Sadly, for both times that I saw him, he chose to greet us naked. No wonder my girl was shy to even look at him.

The highlight of our Brussels trip had to be the visit to Mini Europe. Yes, we brought our parents on a fascinating and unique tour around Europe in just a day!

In mini Europe, all the monuments have been recreated down to the smallest detail and built down on a scale of 1 to 25. A total of 350 monuments across 80 cities in the world are showcased here. As diminutive as it may be, you might be surprised to learn that some monuments such as the Brussels Grand Place cost €350,000 to make or that the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela required more than 24,000 hours of work.

A great place for both kids and elderly, it is of no wonder that Mini Europe has become one of the leading attractions in Brussels.

Quite literally, we witnessed attractions like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Big Ben in London, Arc de Tromphe in Paris, traditional village in Santorini and Orloj Astronomical Clock in Prague. Besides a descriptive guide book, there were also live simulation buttons which could activate trains, cars, cable cars, gondolas and even the fall of the Berlin Wall and eruption of Mount Vesuvius, much to Angel's delight.

We also had a boat battle to see who had the best steering control and enable his/her boat to pass through narrow waterways. Well, not surprising, the sailor hubby who had the upper hand in the competition emerged as the winner.

Meet the winegrower and the warrior!

This picture above was one of my favourites, one of our rare couple shots since we became mummy and daddy.

Nonetheless, you should know by now what my most loved monument of all time is.

Oh yeah, what else other than the Eiffel Tower?

Three couples and one lovely kid by the mini Eiffel Tower.

Together, we form this word called family.

Thanks to Brussels for all the wonderful memories that will keep us reminiscing for a long, long time to come.

To see more of the world, visit my Travelogue page here.


  1. Yes it's so rare to take couple shots now. Am making a concious effort to fake more with hubby! :p

    Great memories and it is such a blessing to be able to travel with both sides of the family!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

    1. Oh yeah, take more take more! They really serve as fabulous memories! Hee. Yup, it was a nice winter hols we spent with our family and we celebrated xmas in Sweden together too! Thanks for reading, Ai!


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