One of the greatest things about studying abroad in London is the opportunity to travel all throughout Europe! I have already been planning my weekend trips which makes me excited of all that is to come! My first stop outside of the UK was Belgium, in the cities of Brussels and Bruges… both beautiful cities with quite different from one another.
My friends and I had only one expectation when going to Belgium, which was that the food will be amazing… and it was! Our first day, we tried the typical “Brussels Mussels,” a variety of Belgian beer, and BELGIAN WAFFLES (we had waffles multiple times during the trip, obviously). We walked through the beautiful city of Brussels, which smelled like chocolate, and witnessed some of the most beautiful architecture, including the Grand Palace, St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral, Brussels Town Hall, and the Manneken Pis.
The Manneken Pis is a bronze sculpture, designed by Hiëronymus Duquesnoy the Elder in 1619, of a little boy urinating into a fountain. The most famous legend of the statue was that in 1142, when the troops of the two-year-old lord were in battle against the lords of Berthouts. The troops put the little boy in a basket in a tree to encourage their Berthouts opposition. The little boy ended up urinating on the troops of Berthouts and won the battle. Another legend says that in the 14th century, when foreigners were planning an attack on the city walls, and a little boy name Julianske spied on them and figured out their plan and urinated on the burning fuse these attackers lit, ultimately saving the city. There are many more stories about the statue… nonetheless, the Manneken Pis is an icon sculpture tourists see when in Brussels.
The next day we took a train to the City of Bruges (Brugge in Dutch), famously known from the movie “In Bruges” starring Colin Farrell. In Bruges, we saw beautiful views from the Rozenhoedkaai, and Bruges’ beautiful canals, and The Church of Our Lady, which held a sculpture done by Michelangelo. The Madonna of Bruges is one of the few Michelangelo sculptures outside of Italy, which is of Mary with the infant Jesus.
My Belgium trip consisted of nonstop walking (which probably didn’t burn off all the calories from the waffles), a history lesson, beautiful views, an amazing group of ladies, and food… a lot of food.
Stay tuned for the next trip, Ireland!
Photos in Brussels:
Photos in Bruges: