Last week I wrote a little bit about my time in Brussels, in Belgium.
Today, I want to revisit the city, and speak a bit more about what I got up to while I was there.
In this one, I’ll speak a bit about the museums I went to, the chocolate I made and the beer and food on offer.
My favourite thing I did while in Belgium actually turned out to be the comic book museum. I LOVED it.
I’d never thought too much about comics and graphic novels, except the ones I’ve read since I was a kid, which are published in Scotland. But there’s just so many, and so many cartoons which were represented in the museum. Like the Smurfs, which I can safely say I hadn’t thought about since I was young.
There’s a heap of different floors which look at comics and the design of characters from across the world, from local to the Flemish cartoons, to further afield such as China and Japan. Which were my favourite.
It looks at wartime comics with various propaganda, to children’s comics which are designed to entertain.
There’s also a shop where you can buy a bunch of different books, most of them sadly were not in English however. It’s where I picked up my Vincent graphic novel, which if you have happened to read any of my posts where I’ve spoken about it you’ll know I absolutely LOVED it.
More generally, there’s a lot of different museums in Belgium. Most of them I think I visited. Including a travelling exhibition on Pompeii, which was actually really interesting. If you’re interested in a bit of culture and want to find out more about the country you’re visiting, museums are definitely a great way to do that. If you’re solely an English speaker, maybe don’t go to the one at the Grand Place, unless you’re hoping to brush up on your French/German.
Another absolute must if you’re in the city is take on a chocolate workshop.
Obviously the country is well known for its chocolate, so it’s really interesting to take a behind the scenes tour and look at how stores actually make the chocolate that’s in basically every third shop you walk past. That’s not an exaggeration, the city is FILLED with chocolate.
My friend and I went on the chocolate making workshop which I believe was around an hour and a half to two hours or so. You’re taken on a step by step process to make pralines, and we also made small circles of chocolate with dried fruit on the top, the name of which I have absolutely no idea.
What is ironic from the above very awkward blurry photo of me drinking beer is the fact that I actually don’t like the taste of beer at all. Unless it’s a fruit sour, I can’t stand the taste of the hops, and I took about three sips of that before I had to abandon my efforts.
Nevertheless, Belgium may be home to chocolate but it is also home to some great beer, or so I am told. We went to a beer museum which took you through how the beer is fermented and made, which also included a free beer with your ticket price, should you then want to think about fermentation while you’re drinking.
They also do an absolutely fantastic cherry beer, which I liked so much I now actively look for it in the UK. It’s under the name Kriek, and you can get it from loads of different brands.
As for food, It’s not something I’ve spoken about a whole lot on my blog, but I am vegetarian with a dislike of most popular vegetarian foods (like eggs, cheese and mushrooms).
I found it okay. There was some good places, and some not so good places, a bit like everywhere. We also ended up going to more mainstream chains, like the Hard Rock Cafe and Brewdog, where the options are a bit better.
If you’re up for some snack food, there’s loads of chip shops, waffle stores and other sweet treats that will tempt you by scent alone while walking along the street.
The next place I’ll be writing about is New York, so keep a look out for that!