Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Travel Log: Brussels, Belgium

I have always wanted to go to Belgium. The land of waffles, chocolate, and beer. I mean, come on, if your country is known for these three things, it must be a grand place to visit. And indeed, it was. Not only was I back in the "Western world" after four months in Romania (yay Starbucks!), but I was in the capital of the European Union. So. Cool. I loved the city, ate a lot of tasty food, and saw the usual sites that one sees in a MEC- Major European City. Large central plaza/piata, large central church, usually of the Catholic variety, large parks, cool/famous statues, random fun markets. Et cetera. 

Perhaps what struck me most about the city was how many times I was reminded of buildings I've seen in other MECs. While I was in Brussels this thought vaguely occurred to me, but when I got back home and compared the photos I took with their "counterparts" in other cities, I was kind of shocked. The following photos are in pairs, the first what I photographed in Brussels, and the second a picture of the building of which it reminded me. While I actually have photographed each of the "counterparts," they are not on this computer, so I had to use google image. C'est la vie. Now, I'm no architect, but it seems to me there are some striking resemblances. Though my friend Rob will undoubtedly comment on this post saying how foolish I am to think that the buildings are even remotely similar. Well GO AHEAD. For now, my comparisons: 
Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

Notre Dame in Paris

Streets of Paris

Pantheon in Rome

And yes, in case you're wondering, I did see the Mannekin Pis. And no I wasn't impressed. First of all, he was really really small. In height. We're talking two feet tall. Maybe. And then he (yes I recognize it's a statue and therefore I should use 'it' but I kind of like using he) was all dressed up in bizarre clothing, presumably for something, but I didn't know what. I hate when that happens- you hear people talk so much about something (a movie, restaurant, painting *ahem Mona Lisa*) and then it's just, well, ok. Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm thinking not so much. But I did hear that every so often the little dude pees out beer and people fill up glasses and have a jolly good time. So that redeems the situation a bit. Nevertheless, despite this minor disappointment, I give Brussels and overwhelming Two Thumbs Up. 

1 comment:

pferree said...

Those triumphal arches are all over the place.

See the one in Munich for another striking likeness.