I rarely write about my travel experiences … probably due to the fact that I suck at narrations. So, I was going through some of my old photos and mahnnnn!! All the emotions just came rolling. I just kept smiling at the photos, reminiscing on those moments … what was happening, the feelings, the scents and traveling with my buddy. It was beautiful… I dare say even say magical.
I stared at this photo of waffles, Ik… you’re prolly like, “Waffles??!!” yeah, waffles. But these my dear friend were not just your normal type waffles, these were the accredited and affluent Belgian Waffles.
proudly showing off my Belgian waffle
Here I was at Brussels street right at the junction of Rue du Chêne and the pedestrian Rue de l’Étuve (I can’t pronounce the words either… don’t sweat it) while marveling at the beauty of the Grand Palace and munching the delicacy while staring at the petite 61 cm Bronze structure of the Mannequin Pis (the pissing boy).
The Grand Palace located in the center of Brussels.
‘don’t give a ***’ attitude of the Mannequin Pis
All along I just kept thinking how odd it is that a small boy answering the call of nature was highly celebrated and even revered; well, a quick Wikipedia search will informed me that in the 14thcentury, the city of Brussels was saved from an attack by a boy who happened to piss on the fuse of explosives of the enemy army; saving the city … or something of the sort. How the hell would I know, am just but a simple ‘Naivashian’ girl.
Then the Atomium….ahhhhhhh…such a marvel.
Simply described; it’s this 102-meter structure comprised of 5 gigantic balls made from stainless steel. It probably serves to boost the ‘egos’ of the west in my humble opinion. Some scientists presumably decided to construct this non-functional gigantic steel structure… to…..you know, uh, show off their knowledge of the atomic structure …? I don’t know…” and boom, 26 million Euros were blown ivo tu. Anywho, let me quit being a hater and just admit, that yes, it is indeed a beautiful structure.
Truthfully, I am a rural girl at heart. As such, a marvelous trip has to include some off-urban detour. And here I meet my first love. DINANT! Located at Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium the city of Dinant sits at the confluence of the Meuse and Lesse rivers. Towering stone cliffs and a massive rock split into two, providing an imposing presence that warrants further exploration.
This hidden gem is also home to the saxophone, invented by Adolph Sax in the1840s.
The serenity in this tiny city is just incredible. You can feel the gentle flow of River Meuse. You turn to your right and voila … there stands the majestic Gothic unbowed Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Dinant (yeah… Paris is not the only city with a Notre Dame Cathedrale). And from the moment you see just how studiously it seems to be carved into the caves, its grey Gothic spire threatening to poke the sky, you know it’s going be your lock-screen wallpaper for your phone.
The stunning gorgeousness of Dinant
As if all this beauty was already not too impressive for this Naivashan soul, the citadel de Dinant, a majestic 1051 fortress, beckons. From up here, one sees all there is to see. It’s beautiful, inspiring, refreshing, seemingly at the edge of the world, a place to soak in the sweeping backdrop of the city splendor anytime during the day.
And to sum up my first ‘Belgian’ experience, I got the highly acclaimed Belgian Frites (fries). What makes these frites and not just any normal go-to fries is the fact that;
- They are double-fried; ie fried twice
- Are soft and fluffy on the inside, surrounded by a crunchy, greaseless crust, dipped in luxuriously flavorful sauces.
- Are wrapped in a paper
- Made from Belgian potatoes called Bintjes. (doubt this is what makes them special but hey… my kikuyuness doesn’t make me a waru specialist now does it?)
Ahhhh… but of course, what would a description of a ‘Belgian experience’ be without mentioning the sumptuous Belgian Chocolates??!! Quick tip; if you stroll into a chocolaterie in the Saint-Hubert Royal Galleries (one of the oldest shopping arcades of the world), ask to taste the chocolates. This you’ll do for free and regardless if you plan to buy some or not.
Have you been to Belgium or visited some of its cities? What was your experience like?