Sunday, October 25, 2015


It has been decided even before KLM Cityhopper announced that only Business Class seats are available in their Sunday morning flight to Bonn.

It was perhaps my last trip to Beethoven's city and I've got to go to Belgium even if at the border in Aachen only, or perhaps to Bruges which I have heard so much, and finally Brussels because of Fr. Apolo and the shorter train ride to the Schipol Airport. 

I have the train tickets bought by Thursday, Bonn-Koln-Brussels Nord-Brussels Central, and I was in Brussels by Saturday morning, lost trying to understand Google map before finally getting led by a friendly and pretty chocolatier. 

I am in Brussels, at the Royal Windsor Hotel Grand Place, where the first thing I did after checking-in was touch the death statue of Everard t' Serclaes, the assassinated savior of Brussels, to bring me good luck and allow me a return to the city. 

And then it's beer, chocolates, and waffles from there, at the Belgian Brewers Museum for the history and the free beer, a dark complimentary and a blonde on the house, courtesy of the curator/bartender who got hooked on my spin of German versus Belgian beers, San Miguel Beer as our only real beer, and his planned visit to the Philippines... more history and the chocolate fountain and the chocolate chips, all in the name of free taste, at the Musee de Cacao et du Chocolat...

...and of course waffles, one size, one creamy foam, different flavors, for one Euro, which I opted out in favor of a tamer version, just the waffle and syrup, piping hot and chewy, at a truck stand somewhere. 

All of that in the Grand Place, impressive and elaborate, rightfully Europe's most beautiful square but chocking with too many people and bursting with souvenir shops, like those gawking at the Mannekin Pis, that wee statue of a peeing boy that I find tasteless, from which I eased out...

... into the genteel but electric environs of the Mons des Arts where street musicians and advocates gather, where, I remember now, the hot waffle smothered in syrup originated, and discovered the garden and the Rue Montagne de la Cour to the Royal Square.

Then it was lunch, or early dinner, and for 23 Euros treated myself to a Belgian smorgasbord of beef stew and meat balls and mussels and frites washed down with a cold mug of Tripel Karmeliet.

And then it was night, in my superb hotel room, and more beer.

But that is another story...     

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