Up and at it to see the sights; we headed into Brussels to see the city and meet up with Peter “Madnick” van den Block of Belgium VI, who was our guide for the day. Madnick is also the European Conference Safety Officer.
We had a slight delay due to a fatality accident on the Autoban. It would have been nice to already have our rental motorcycles so we could split lanes like the rest of them, at least until Susan beat me to death.
The electronic direction board is almost as big as the car.
Once we arrived at Madnick’s it was the customary beer before we headed out. He took us on a driving tour and Chris did a great job keeping up especially since Madnick was on a motorcycle.
The stress is finally melting away.
A great day to be a motorman, but then every day is a great day to be a motorman riding in front of the King’s residential palace, the Royal Place of Laeken.
In the next picture you will see some traffic cones next to Madnick, which is a restricted parking area in front of their Chamber of Representatives. Madnick spoke with the guard and the next thing I know, he is moving cones for us to park. Talk about VIP treatment.
The western Europeans never met a potato that they didn’t want to French Fry.
With so much to choose from it is hard to decide on a place to eat lunch.
When in Brussels I guess the place to eat is an Irish Pub. They must be short.
Galeries St Hubert
Susan, I think it’s illegal to photograph police
Le Grand Palace / De Grote Market
The 61 cm tall bronze statue on the corner of Rue de l’Etuve and Rue des Grands Carmes was made in 1619 by Brussels sculptor Hieronimus Duquesnoy the Elder, father of the more famous François Duquesnoy. The figure has been repeatedly stolen: the current statue dates from 1965. The original restored version is kept at the Maison du Roi/Broodhuis on the Grand Place.
There are several legends behind this statue, but the most famous is the one about Duke Godfrey III of Leuven. In 1142, the troops of this two-year-old lord were battling against the troops of the Berthouts, the lords of Grimbergen, in Ransbeke (now Neder-Over-Heembeek). The troops put the infant lord in a basket and hung the basket in a tree to encourage them. From there, the boy urinated on the troops of the Berthouts, who eventually lost the battle.
Another legend states that in the 14th century, Brussels was under siege by a foreign power. The city had held its ground for some time, so the attackers conceived of a plan to place explosive charges at the city walls. A little boy named Julianske happened to be spying on them as they were preparing. He urinated on the burning fuse and thus saved the city. There was at the time (middle of the 15th century, perhaps as early as 1388) a similar statue made of stone. The statue was stolen several times.
Another story (told often to tourists) tells of a wealthy merchant who, during a visit to the city with his family, had his beloved young son go missing. The merchant hastily formed a search party that scoured all corners of the city until the boy was found happily urinating in a small garden. The merchant, as a gift of gratitude to the locals who helped out during the search, had the fountain built.
Another legend was that a small boy went missing from his mother when shopping in the centre of the city. The woman, panic-stricken by the loss of her child, called upon everyone she came across, including the mayor of the city. A city-wide search began and when at last the child was found, he was urinating on the corner of a small street. The story was passed down over time and the statue erected as a tribute to the well-known fable.
Another legend tells of the young boy who was awoken by a fire and was able to put out the fire with his urine, in the end this helped stop the king’s castle from burning down.
World Cup Soccer is going on in Brazil, feels like the Baseball World Series around here
You have to have Belgian Waffles in Belgium
Don Quichotte and Sancho Panza
The Royal Palace of Brussels (if I remember right it is his work palace)
Anheuser Busch’s owner
They have Coke and Coke Light too
Like a moth to a flame. This is the Federal Highway Police Station that Madnick works out of.
Next we went to a Candy Factory Outlet store to get some Belgian Chocolate. Good thing out space was limited or that stop could have been all bad.
Guy made it back and we met back up with him, Valerie, and their son Gyel to go to Koen Huste’s home in the village of Zottegem for the next two nights. Koen is a member of Belgium VI and the European Conference International Representative.
My favorite picture of Koen. (Your Papers! Your Papers are not in order!) Very Scary dude
This is the Koen that we know and love, in the Belgium VI clubhouse.
After the customary beer at Koen’s house upon arrival we traveled into the village for dinner. He took us to a gourmet hamburger restaurant. Their version of a hamburger is different than I am used to but it was good.
Koen’s pet Turtle
Gyel stealing the show as always
Guy, Gyel, Valerie, and Koen
I think Susan likes taking pictures of Gyel (the Ham)
Had to drink a Kasteel beer
Then from there to a pub that Koen frequents. You would have thought it was Norm walking into Cheers. That ended our first long day of sightseeing.
Continue reading Day 3.