Last year started with my transfer to Brussels to undertake the Erasmus experience. To be honest, I didn’t want to go there.
My choice was not too far away, I’ve fallen in love with a school in the Hague, near Amsterdam, but I was not admitted. In the list of vacancies places, Brussels chose me and welcomed me. And no mistake was nicer.
Today I’m going to spend a few words about my Brussels, but I won’t be boring with too many details for the moment, I’ll give you just a general view.
But don’t worry, I spent six months there, so, be prepared for more posts!
Ready, steady, go!
Brussels – be prepared for the UNimaginable
Brussels is the kind of capital that you don’t plan to visit. I mean, when you are looking for a week-end to spend in an european capital, the names that come immediately in your mind are: London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Rome … but not Bxl.
This is because, as someone said:
its like a beautiful book but with a non-commercial cover.
To welcome you, probably, you find not too mild temperatures and an ever-present drizzle; but as someone else said, it contributes to Brussels’ appeal – and I agree.
Once inside you will not have the feeling of being in a typical nordic nation, because it’s amazing how it encloses and represents in itself the whole Europe.
It’s a “business” city, corporate headquarters of major multinationals, seat of European institutions and NATO, here hearing parlance from all over the world it’s routine.
It’s a city that you never expected and it won’t fall into stereotypes and clichés and can’t be framed under the category “northern Europe”.
It will allow you to immerse yourself in its extremely disorienting features, and in its streets where everything is a color to absorb.
Multicultural, multilingual, young, curious and colorful. A window on the world.
Bienvenue à Bruxelles! où vous pouvez respirer air d’Europe!
Discover its many multi-ethnic faces
Brussels is located in its own region (Bruxelles-Capitale ) , exactly in the middle between Flanders and Wallonia. It’s the only officially bilingual region of Belgium and everything in the city is reported in french and flemish .
One of the biggest problems of the country it’s the difficult coexistence between flemish and walloons. One community speaks a dutch dialect, the other (which are the majority of the citiziens) a french variant, but both detest each other. In some neighborhoods, you can also hear brusselse sproek (or marollien ) the ancient dialect of Brussels, arised from the bizarre combination of the two languages .
Aside Internal vicissitudes, a large percentage of the population are muslim , arab, turkish , moroccan and perfectly integrated in society, so that, finding a “real” Bruxelloise is a venture!
Guess what is the special ingredient ? What is the most successful secret for social integration in the belgian capital? The BEER!
B like Belgium, B like Brussels, B like Beer!
Leisures,hospitality, food, everything is a winning combination that impress those who try it for the first time, making everyone fall in love with it!
Beer is in the air. Here, and only here, Lambic is produced, thanks to the special atmosphere. Brussels allows true beer lovers to taste more than 200 different types of handcrafted and excellent beer.
After tasting a REAL BEER you will never enjoy a commercial label anymore, guaranteed.
Here, beer is not just a drink or a way to spend your time. It’s culture, tradition and the time in itself.
It can be said that bruxelloises look at the world through a mug. Indeed, it’s enough looking at the glass of beer in front of them to figure out the time of year or the day.
There’s one for every occasion: full-bodied and dark during winter, light and flavored with fruit or flowers in summer.
Those to taste during meals, those accompanied by cheese croutons and with an average grade during the appetizer, and those above eight degrees with nothing after dinner.
For connoisseurs, the list is endless and there are also the second-fermentation beers, aged up to 20 years before being served. Beer flows more than water… is not a mystery!
Be ready to walk a lot!
It ‘a people-oriented city, easy to turn on foot. Comfortable shoes are recommended because it is a constant up and down! To discover it is necessary to… get lost! So, begin to walk, and when you’re uncertain, turn right, always!
Art for all tastes and pockets – Comics, street art and design
Atmosphere has a personal style that makes it attractive and captivating, ironic and witty.
An appeal, a polyhedral that has stimulated the genius of artists such as the famous surrealist painter René Magritte, Art Nouveau architect Victor Horta and Hergé, Peyo and Morris respectively the creators of comics such as Tintin, Lucky Luke and the Smurfs.
From the great museums of classical art, to those dedicated to the great figures of culture, Brussels offers a wide selection, but between the particularities, there is the Art Nouveau itinerary, of which Brussels is the cradle of.
Or the itinerary follow the trail of surrealism and surrealists, starting from the Magritte Museum. Absolutely unmissable! Near the enchanting music museum and not too far from “The art of chocolate” Museum.
Furthermore, in the country where are born comic book heroes, it’s easy to bump into murals dedicated to them: a real circuit to discover.
Whether adults, teens or childrens, no matter what. Brussels offers the best of itself to everybody!
Did you know that Brussels is one of the greenest capitals in the world? So, I invite you to explore the green that colors the city with the Promenade verte (the green walk), a journey of about 60 km through parks and green spaces into the city, hike over or by renting a bike ride of the city of Brussels.
There is plenty of parks. From Parc du Cinquantenaire where you can find the Arc de Triomphe, to the famous Bois de la Cambre, to les étangs d’Ixelles, to the Van Buuren museum and the wonderful Japanese gardens.
Here the complete list of green areas: here:http://www.bruxelles.be/dwnld/61545686/CARTE%20nature%202013.pdf
But Brussels seduces even at night. In the evening the town comes alive and the nightlife goes on until dawn, giving memorable evenings in the name of celebration, joy and even eccentricity.
Antitapas night is one of the most famous underground party in Europe, a wonderful italo-spanish event. From here to the African district, to the most sought clubs, up to discos with commercial music.
Place is wide: you can listen to music or dance until the early hours of the morning is vast.
You just have to choose, Brussel’s nightlife is waiting for you!
Have you ever been in Brussels?
An important tip: If you are searching an interactive city guide
www.cityplug.be is THE guide!
Shopping, restaurants, bars, wellness and leisure: CityPlug.be allows you to (re) discover the favorite places of your city, but also to share your best shots with other members. 😉
All Rights Reserved. All images © 2012-2013 Antonino Aveni.