Belgian Christmas

Trip Start Dec 05, 2008
Trip End Dec 07, 2008

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Friday, December 5, 2008

We took a trip organized through the Social Club to Brussels for the Christmas markets.  Others on the trip were Beth, Adam, D'Andre and Andrea.  We left Friday morning....  early.  The bus caught the train and we were in Brussels before we knew it.  After a quick check in we were off for the important stuff, beer.  Le Bier Circus was first on our list but closed.  So we headed for the main square and Mort Subite.  After a few beers and snacks at Mort Subite we attempted dinner.  Our first attempt was a place on the square.  By the way the square was really pretty.  Music and light show.  See the video.  Anyway, the place on the square was packed so a guy there lead us to another place down the street.  After sitting for way to long unattended we decided to move on.  We wandered until we found an OK place.  The meal was nothing fabulous but doable.  Then off to Le Bier Circus.  Well, this place has moved since we were last there.  The new place was awful.  They seem to be trying to be a restaurant rather than a fabulous beer bar.  Bummer.  We have taken them off the list

Saturday Beth and Adam headed off to the markets in Valkenburg.  The markets are in caves.  Sounds cool but we didn't want to get back on the bus so the four of us stayed in Brussels.  We set off to see the Brussels markets.  I think the highlight was the two merry go rounds.  These were unlike any we had ever seen.  The longer you stood watching these things go around the more cool things you would see.  Most of the objects moved or had moving parts for the kids to expend energy.  They were fantastic!  After the markets we needed sustenance...  beer.  We wanted to try to find the Jeanneke Pis or the little pisser girl.  We had all seen Manneken Pis but could never find the little girl.  We managed to find her.  I must admit her position is a bit revealing.  Andrea and I agree she should have her back to us.  A little more discreet.  And she is hidden down an alley....  not nearly the prime location as Manneken.  For those looking she is just down from the Delirium Cafe.  Now for that sustenance....  there is a great pub right next to Manneken so we went there.  As it turns out Manneken was dressed up as Father Christmas (St. Nicolas)....  glad we got to see him in his outfit.  The pub near Manneken is the Poechenellekelder, great views of the masses around Manneken.  Steve noticed they had a Christmas beer list...   So we spent some time working our way through the list.  Lots of the old stand bys but also some new to us beers....  good times.  After several hours there we headed for dinner.  After dinner we met up with Beth and Adam at La Becasse for more beers. 

Sunday we were heading for home, but first we wanted to visit a place we hadn't seen in 8 years.  Atomium, here we come!  We rose early and headed for that crazy structure on the outskirts of Brussels.  Since our last visit the Atomium has had a face lift.  Completely refurbished.  Chick out the website for more info:
It was a joy to see the new, shiny version of an old friend.  We toured around the inside to find all the stylish 1950s bits updated.  Bummer.  After a quick tour we headed back to the city center to meet up with the others.  The reunion didn't happen but Steve and I did find another lovely pub down an alley....  what is it about alleys?  They seem to house the best pubs.  This place is called Au Bon Vieux Temps.  We had a beer there and then back to the hotel for the trip home. 

We had a great time and really enjoyed our company.  We can't wait to go to Brussels again!!

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