BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Huge day sightseeing in Brussels.


We got up after a really good night's sleep and decided to head out for a look around Brussels. It was very cold but our bike jackets k
eep the cold out very well. It's so cold that I have to keep my camera inside my jacket or it freezes up and refuses to work. Suzanne wears her bike boots and tells me her feet are toasty warm. I wear my new super lightweight runners, and my feet get cold. It was then that I saw a pile of snow on a car windscreen, and I thought - snowball. Yup, Suzanne copped a big snowball right in the middle of her back. Ha!

We walked for what seemed like ages following our little tourist map and then found a nice little bar for lunch. We both had an omelette with salad and it was just so good. The food here is spot on.

The architecture here isn't as pretty as some of the other places we've been, but there is the odd stand out...

Suzanne said this is the house where the witches live.

Further down the road we found statues and a war memorial like I've never seen before.

 The top of the war memorial.

The base of the war memorial.

Then we found this...

...a giant Smurf.

We then made a quick visit to Chocopolis, a Belgian chocolate shop. "Would you like a complimentary sample sir?" I don't mind if I do. It was very yummy, but again, we can't carry much on the bike, so it was no sale.

Then it was time to visit one of Brussels most famous land marks, Manneken Pis. This is a small statue of a boy peeing in a fountain. When I say small, I mean about the size of a large cat. Yes, it's that small. When we got there he was dressed up as Santa Klaus. To say the whole thing was a bit of a let down would be an understatement.

That's it. A very small statue of a boy taking a wiz.

 There was a large crowd there taking photos.

You can read all about him here and find interesting facts like: He has over 800 outfits, and so on.

It reminded me of something out of South Park.

We made our way toward our final target, Saint Catherine's. We'd been told there was a market and ice skating there and it was worth a visit.

On the way there we walked through the central square where this giant "Christmas tree" was set up. It is lit in all different colours and changes colours in time with the music being played in the square. It was pretty good to see. Here are a couple of blurry shots of the tree...

Wow. Saint Catherine's Christmas Market was beautiful. Take a look...

 Nearly every building was decorated  with lights.
Everyone uses white lights, not colours.

 Saint Catherine's, illuminated.

A Ferris wheel at the end of a row of stalls. 

 Part of the ice skating rink.

 Part of the amazing Merry Go Round...

 ...and a little bit more.

Suzanne tucks into champagne and oysters.

We wandered around these markets and had a very enjoyable evening. It was such a beautiful place, the cold, the ice skaters, the stalls selling all sorts of goodies. We drank champagne and ate oysters, bought some incredibly good cheeses, and enjoyed a few nibbles. It was just one of those nights that clicked.

We finished off with a very nice dinner in a French Restaurant, then a taxi ride home. It was a very full day, we'd walked for who knows how far, and we were exhausted.


  1. Hi Simon,

    I've lost your email addy !!! not sure when you are planning to return to OZ but the IOM TT crew are planning a cultural trip to Le Mans for the MotoGP next May.

    We will be visiting historic churches and galleries and will not be visiting any licensed establishments ;-)

    If still around and fancy a culture trip please get in touch.



  2. Hi Shane,

    Good to hear from you mate. I'm always keen to learn more about a new country, and I'm sure this trip will be culturally enriching :) If we're still in Europe (if the money hasn't run out) I'm in.

    Keep in touch.