Being a tourist

This is the end of my first week of holiday and it’s certainly been a packed one. The weather forecast was a bit mixed for the week so we scheduled lots of indoors stuff. It does mean that I’m a bit ‘museumed-out’, but it’s been an interesting week.

So what did we get up to? Here’s our list of visits:

IMG_2570.JPGLast Friday – Belgian Centre for Comic Strip Art, affectionately known as ‘cbbd’. Lots of Belgian comic strips and cartoons!

Monday – Cinema to see the latest Harry Potter. In English but with French and Flemish subtitles. Somewhat disconcerting but still enjoyed the film.

Tuesday – Belgian National Day. Largely ignored in Belgium, but celebrated in Brussels with parades, fireworks and loads of things to see and do. It’s largely a celebration of all the government ‘agencies’ – the armed forces, the emergency services and various civilian support services. Some piccies here. It was a very warm day (so much for the forecast), so we were all too wiped out to come back to the town for the fireworks, but they sounded spectacular.

Wednesday (my birthday) – culture, culture, culture. We spent most of the day at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, including the new Magritte museum.

Thursday – one for the ladies – Museum of Costume and Lace. Nothing more to say on that one. We did, however, wander through Central Station to find the Horta Gallery. Interesting echo and lots of strange looks from commuters as we made plenty.

IMG_2755.JPGFriday – Euro Parliament. One of members of the congregation kindly offered to show us around bits of the European Parliament. It had to be bits because the place is huge and sprawls over umpteen buildings and many, many floors. Some of the highlights here.

Saturday – Royal Museum for Central Africa. Belgium, like many other European powers, has a somewhat chequered history in Africa. Belgium had control of the Congo and, well, let’s just say, made the most of its resources. The museum charts some of that history and also includes a huge ‘natural history’ museum, full of stuffed animals and pinned specimens. Not the cheeriest of places, in a sense, but fascinating nevertheless. It is set in beautiful gardens which made for a lovely place to walk after the museum visit (again, so much for the weather forecast). Some photos here.

No idea yet what’s on the agenda for next week, but we’ll think of something, I’m sure.

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