20140527 Brussels

7:00 Up.

8:15 Lobby.

8:40 Met Andrew and started toward the city.

9:00 Grand Place. Walked around.



9:35 Walked into a fancy waffle place. It was expensive, and the sitting area was to open at 11 AM.


The white crumbs in the dough were sugar lumps.


9:37 Went to the waffle store beside it instead and bought waffle with sugar powder. EUR 1.80.
There was no table, so we just walked and ate at the same time.





10:10 Musical Instrument Museum. EUR 2.00.
It looked small from the outside, but it  took a while to go around. They had ancient and modern instruments on display, and sample sound or music could be heard on the audio guide (probably iPod touch).
First floor had Asian, African and South American instruments. There were some very interesting ones, and some made me wonder how they could produce such sounds with such shapes.
Second floor was western instruments, such as 400-year-old clavichords and 200-year-old violins. The sample music was mostly classical, and there were many familiar pieces. There were about 20 children on this floor who seemed to be in a class trying to make some sound out of French horn and double bass.
They had a special saxophone exhibit on the fourth floor. The inventor of saxophones, Adolph Sax, invented a surprising number of instruments, one of which was a brass instrument with 13 bells. Andrew was getting pretty tired at this point, so we just skimmed through the basement floor with music boxes and telemins and came out.


12:05 Done. I wished we had more time. I was going to come on Monday but the museum was closed.

12:15 Coudenberg, palace museum. EUR 4.




12:20 Admitted. The palace itself was destroyed by fire in 1731, but the remains of the underground became open to public. The entrance part was built in 12th centry. There were few other tourists, and I felt as if I was walking through a set for the lord of the rings.
They had a small museum near the exit, but we skipped it.




12:50 Out.


13:00 Rested at Parc royal, opposite of royal palace. There were adult runners and children screaming and running around.


13:10 Out. We started walking towards Grand Place.

13:20 Belgian Frites. I ordered fries with curry ketchup, and it was great. The fries were thinner and more crispy than the ones from Amsterdam. EUR 3.10.



13:50 Out. We started walking towards the brewery Andrew badly wanted to go, which was in the southern part of the city. As we approached it, the streets appeared more dirty and it started getting a little scary.

14:22 Brasserie Cantillon. It was my first brewery tour ever, and it smelled like alcohol literally everywhere. EUR 7.



The self-guided tour was to follow the numbers on the wall and in the guide book, which had detailed descriptions about the brewing process.
This brewery used spontaneous fermentation, which used natural air-borne yeast and other micro-organisms rather than directly adding yeast. The beers were called lambic beer. There were 100-year-old machines.




Apparently they reuse wine barrels.



15:00 End of the tour. I got to taste two different beers, and I chose 18-month-old Grand Cru Bruocsella and Kriek, the fruity one. Um, I was not a beer fan to start with, and they were too sour for my taste. But it was interesting because they were different from beers I had tried before.




15:40 Out.

16:08 Hostel. Paid for laundry, and they gave me laundry detergent. EUR 5.

16:20 They had one laundry machine and one dryer in the kitchen, but they were already in use.

16:45 Came back to find someone waiting for the laundry nearby. So I sat down at a nearby table and started writing my journal with my laundry on the side.

17:00 Andrew joined.

18:20 Finally started the laundry.

19:00 Done with journal.

19:25 Started the dryer.

20:05 Done!

20:27 Packed clothes and waited at the lobby.

20:35 Started toward the city again with Andrew.

20:47 Fin of Siecle. It was packed and loud.



21:05 Got a table. The only menu in the restaurant was the black board beside the bar (and not in English). Following the recommendation of the waitress and glancing at other tables, I ordered Stoemp Sausage. I also ordered blanche draft beer, and it was light, slightly sweet, and easy to drink.

The sausage was amazing! It came with an overwhelming amount of mashed potato swimming in gravy. It was juicy and full of flavour. The portion was huge.


22:40 It was cash-only, so I paid for two. EUR 33.10.

23:00 Hostel.


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