Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Manneken Pis

Brussels has a weird obsession with their fountain of a naked baby urinating into the basin. His picture was everywhere, as a marketing ploy and in tourist souvenirs. He was projected holding beer, pizza, and ice cream. He was plastered on the Coca-Cola machine. I must not have been the intended target audience because I found it a little off putting. Who wants to buy pizza from a naked peeing baby? Kind of like that movie, Ratatouille, where you are supposed to sympathize with the rat that wants to be a chef, and all I could think about was how gross little rat feet in the kitchen would be. 

 photo IMG_4445-2_zps339b0d7f.jpg
La Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium.
By the time that we arrived in Belgium for our ten hour layover, we had already been traveling for a while. We were bleary eyed from an overnight flight so our first stop was for Belgium waffles. It was super fun to have Belgium waffles in Belgium, but they actually weren't any better than sourdough waffles at home. Our second stop was for coffee and hot chocolate. Both were fantastic.

 photo IMG_4424_zps61a76fcf.jpg
The Tin Tin store.
It was raining and cold. Chloe was carrying about six books in her backpack that weighed more than she did, but she never complained. I wanted to complain about how cold my feet were, but since the kids were being so brave, I kept it to myself, mostly anyway.

 photo IMG_4440_zps47e0aaaa.jpg
We have no problem acting like weird tourists.
We ate lunch in the top a building with wide windows overlooking the square below. We ate Belgium fries and ketchup. They came in huge paper cones topped with mayonnaise and ketchup. They were not amazing, but there was a heater by my seat that I snuggled with until my feet thawed out.

 photo IMG_4434-2_zpsbece97c4.jpg
The view from the frites shop.
 photo IMG_4444_zps4a95f79d.jpg
 La Grand Place
We basically walked in circles around the main central square ducking into all the souvenir and chocolate shops. (Did I mention all the huge chocolate creations of the Manneken Pis?!)
 photo IMG_4439-2_zps8b239763.jpg
This is Phil, and he's going to church.
Chloe was on a mission to name every pigeon that she saw. It was rather time consuming because we saw a lot of pigeons, and after a while she forgot who was who and would have to rename them all.

 photo IMG_4446-2_zps1a85fcae.jpg
I have a thing for locks. And keyholes. And alleys.
We went back to the airport earlier than we needed to. Four hours of cold feet and naked baby viewing was about all that we could take. We celebrated the end of our visit to Brussels by nearly missing our train because we were having trouble reading the signs. We made a mad dash and jump into the train while the whistle was blowing and doors were about to close. We gratefully sank into open seats-until the lady with the hat, and authority, kicked us out for mistakenly being in first class.

 photo IMG_4428-2_zps2408c57d.jpg
This is my favorite picture from Brussels. Phil comes in a close second.  
Aidan and I promptly fell asleep on the windowsill overlooking the airplanes while we waited for another overnight flight into Israel. We didn't realize that there were beautifully comfy couches just a few meters away. But at least we had bellies full of chocolate and fries, and warm feet at last.

No comments:

Post a Comment