Last day in Brussels

For my last day in Brussels, I fully intended to spend the day exploring the area just north of my hotel around the Ste Catherine and Place St-Gery.  As well as a return to really admire the Grand Place (without all the beer tents).

The Grand Place draws you back over and over. The buildings are gorgeous and I personally can spend a ridiculous amount of time admiring the architecture and intricate detail.

After enjoying the Place, I headed down to the Manneken Pis, really to gander at the crowds rather than the fountain.

However, by lunch time I found myself back at the train station heading back to Ghent. Despite really enjoying Brussels, I wanted to explore the canals again and with the city being only a 30 minute train ride, it seemed a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.

At least for this day trip, I had my rain jacket! And, it came in handy too.  The sidewalk cafes were a little sparse and the fabulous canal side beer hall had patrons only enjoying their inside tables.

Near the Castle of the Counts, I enjoyed a lovely lunch of cheese croquettes and homemade tomato soup. Probably the best cheese croquettes imaginable! They went extremely well with a nice dark beer.

After this late lunch, I strolled the canals for a bit and saw a few more sights that hadn’t been open when I visited on Monday (always check the closures!)

One thing I had yet to enjoy were the waffles! Purchased as either elaborate topped confections or as simple crispy delights eaten in hand, waffle carts and shops are all around.

Me, I like to enjoy the individual flavors of what I’m tasting, so I opted for the simple plain waffle in hand.

Oh my!  These are amazingly fabulous. The outside is crisp, with caramelized sugar that provides just right amount of sweet. Delicate and light on the inside it should really be enjoyed at least once without all the overpowering toppings (and I’ll admit, the shop where I bought this waffle, didn’t sell all the fancy covered ones – just plain and a lightly coated chocolate one).

After wandering in delight with my waffle and visiting a few more chocolate shops I headed back to Brussels to enjoy my last night in the city.  Since I was rather stuffed, I figured I’d simply enjoy another beer or two and catch the Grand Place one more time at night.

One last little visit to our urinating friend

and a final beer in the Falstaff Cafe outside The Bourse.

The Falstaff Cafe had a nice art deco atmosphere from the early 20th century, but I preferred the wooden dingy interior of the Cirio Cafe on the other side of The Bourse.

I had thoroughly enjoyed my final day in Belgium but it was now time to head back to the Marriott, pack up and prepare for the long journey home.

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