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Friday, September 12, 2014

Brussels, Belgium

A tourist's view of Le Grand-Place, Brussels

For the last stretch of my stay in Europe, my sister and I ventured to Belgium to stay with some of our cousins. Belgium was historically a Dutch-speaking country, but has now become primarily French. The city of Brussels is a major centre for European and International politics. Both The European Union (EU) and The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have their headquarters in the city, along with other various international organizations.

Myself, my sister and my cousin Andrea at The Atomium building in Brussels

The Atomium building was constructed for Expo 58, which is the Brussels World's Fair that took place in 1958. For the science lovers out there, this monument is in the shape of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times! The building looks especially gorgeous on a clear afternoon.

Church of Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon

I'm still amazed at the vast variation in architecture and culture scattered throughout Brussels. The churches and historic buildings are in Gothic and Baroque style, while the newer monuments and offices are extremely modern. Surprisingly, nothing looks wildly out of place.

Now back in Canada, I am seriously missing the skinny, winding cobblestone streets lined with shops, apartments and restaurants. It's so fun to stroll through different european neighbourhoods, taking in their unique sights, smells and sounds.

Royal Palace of Brussels
The Royal Palace was one of my favourite buildings to see. It used to be the King's house, but has now been turned into a museum and church.

Brussels is such a wonderful city to visit, rich (literally) with culture and political power. I couldn't be more thankful for our family members who showed us around for the entire weekend, and made us feel right at home.


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