In a ten million population country that has three different languages it’s not always easy to know how to get around. Especially when you don’t master either french, german or flemish. In a world where we travel more than ever, Brussels still hasn’t become the most common destination for weekend travelers. Instead the city, that’s also known as the “Heart of Europe”, has become known for being the headquarters of the European Parliament and a lot of other politically connected companies and organisations.
My name is Philip, founder of Leptal. In 2013 I lived in Brussels doing an internship for a NGO. About to turn 20 years old I packed my two suitcases, boarded a plane and set for a new chapter of my life.
The way Brussels is build up is quite unique. Well preserved old brick building meet new high and modern glas. The further into the center of the city you come, the more downhill it gets. Grand Place, at the middles of the city center is the most famous square and the biggest tourist attraction. A breathtaking sight you can’t miss if you happen to visit Brussels. In narrow cobblestone alleys around the square there are a lot to see and eat. Stop by a little café and enjoy a classic Belgian waffle or for supper order in a big serving of Mussel Frites. A dish out of mussels boiled in white wine, herbs and cream, served with fries. Some Yummi stuff I can assure you!
When I wasn’t working or exploring the city I spend a lot of time jogging. Just a few blocks away from where I lived the biggest park in Brussels, Du Cinquantenarie Jubelpark, had great tracks with beautiful sights. Best of them all was of course the Triumf Bow-building, an impossible sight to miss while in the park.
Something that always surprised me with Brussels and my time in Belgium was how fast the weather could change. A typical expression that I heard way too many times was “Only in Brussels can you experience four seasons in one day”, a fact I can say is true. A beautiful morning could easily turn in a cold autumn afternoon and even some snow in late April.
At one time our co-founder Edvin Hellsing came to visit. After a tour through the city where is snapped some great photos that you can see in the gallery below we headed out to Brucparck at the foot of the Atomium, where we entered the miniature park “Mini-Europe”.
Mini-Europe has reproductions of monuments in the European Union on show, at a scale of 1:25. Roughly 80 cities and 350 buildings are represented. Mini-Europe receives 350,000 visitors per year and has a turnover of 4 million Euros. The park contains live action models such as trains, mills, an erupting Mount Vesuvius, and cable cars.
Lastly, if you happen to be in Brussels on a Thursday during summertime, visit the After Work at Place du Luxembourg, right outside the European Parliament. A great mixture of people meeting over a few drinks in the summer sun, suited up and ready to mingle! How life simply should be.
Wishing you the best.
Founder of Leptal
We are Leptal love journeys with the mission of exploring new things and sights. Philip is one of many travelers exploring the world in his everyday life with help from our felt cases. This blog, The Travel Journey, takes you as a reader around the world with together with our ambassadors.
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