We set off from Amsterdam towards Brussels, Belgium. Normally this trip would be a very quick 2 to 3 hours but as it was one of those sunny first days of the season, the roads were packed with cars with surfboards strapped to the roof, or other beach paraphernalia hanging out of the trunk. I suppose when you have such bitter winters any sun is an excuse to take the day off and play. We decided to take a detour and take the more indirect scenic route through Rotterdam. Rotterdam was a quaint city with its own identity not unlike Boston to New York or Melbourne to Sydney. We passed by many marshes and iconic windmills, the old corn mashers and the modern clean energy producers. We even got to see the dam system in place to keep out the onrushing North Sea. In fact, we were extremely impressed with the natural beauty of the countryside and the modernity of the cities but mostly we were impressed with how well they meshed together.
Arriving in Brussels we had a hell of a time finding our hotel located in the old city center adjacent to La Grand Place. We went around and around the city asking shop after shop for directions before deciding to just hire a taxi to lead us there, which was good thing too because after seeing how to get into the old city we would have never found it. Needless to say after hours of being lost on the road we needed some time apart. I decided to go to a local bar while Lucy watched the original “Dancing with the Stars” before it made it here in the States.
The next day we were right again and hit up the city snapping copious photos in the Grand Place admiring the architecture of the gothic, stately, government buildings. Lucy thought the buildings were so pretty she was bouncing around snapping off photos with more excitement than the Boyos have right before dinner. Following this we found a farmers market en route to the Cathedral St Michael. It turns out while I was having a look inside Lucy was being hit on. Who hits on a women with two shihts in a stroller? Moving on we did some more exploring finding the St. Hubert shopping gallery and the Manneken Pis fountain or, as I call it the peeing boy statue. We had dinner inside a very nice restaurant eating mussels and bouillabaisse while passersby talked with us about how cute and well behaved our AdventurePups were.
The following morning we grabbed ourselves some excellent Belgian Waffles and set out to have a look at Waterloo, something you can easily do with a car at your disposable. We ventured out of the city, leaving a trail of mental breadcrumbs behind, and drove the thirty minutes through the outer grasslands arriving at an old village that looked untouched since the Second World War. The experience at Waterloo was very somber as it is mainly a war memorial for the famous showdown between Wellington and Napoleon, the last of the French-English feuds. The monument itself was a large grass pyramid with an immense stone lion statue overlooking the blood fertile battlefield. The Boyos and I sat there contemplating how the world might have been, had the outcome of this one point in time, turned out differently.
Best part: Having the boyos run around like crazy in the Grand Place then cooling off with a blonde Belgian beer for me and ice water for them at the nearby brasserie while Lucy bought some sketch art. Worst part: getting the sideview mirror ever so slightly touched by a metro bus and having the driver come out to try and tell me off! He did not succeed.