I am happy to admit, considering all the consumer behaviour study I've done, that the exploitation/commercialisation of Valentine's Day is silly and merely a way to sell more stuff. Another 'Hallmark' day to boost the profits of florists and card companies. But despite this, despite the fact the day should mean nothing to me but business, it was a little depressing to be in a city full of chocolate, flowers and lovers on Valentines Day. Alone*. I tried (unsucessfully) not to think about someone 16,000km away. I even considered buying myself some tulips but the hostel didn't provide vases. Reflecting on this when I got back to Caen, I need not have worried if La Poste had just delivered my package on time - I came home to a letterbox and subsequent card filled with rose petals. Awww.
I'd love to tell you that Brussels is a fascinating city, full of amazing sights, sounds, flavours, etc to delight the senses and whatnot. The truth is, I am not much of an expert in architecture, gastronomy or even comic books. What I can say is that it was a fun place I didn't spend enough time in and didn't have enough money for. The chocolate is good, the waffles are good, the snails are ok and the waiters outside the restaurants harrass you in various languages, which is entertaining if not annoying.
There were lots of great things to take photos of, including a good selection of street art by some very talented delinquents. My approach was to just walk about and observe (the cheap way) as opposed to go inside and pay entry fees to exhibitions I'm not that interested in. And a good 7 hours of walking a day will take you through the reasonably small city fairly well, although I am sure there was much I missed. I will go back in spring or summer, when there are leaves on the trees, flowers in the gardens and warmth in the day. Until then, the rest of Belgium can remain a mystery and my very short-lived adventure will suffice.
*When I say alone, I wasn't actually alone. John was there. But John is not Danny. Sorry John! :)
Vintage Sepia House Image!
1 hour ago