Seven Weeks, and Redefining Weekends

Mike and I arrived in Germany 7 weeks ago today. Time has begun to shape shift for me, I can tell you that for sure! This morning alone, I have already (successfully to this point) juggled 5 loads (loads are relatively small here) of laundry (I’m a big believer in clean sheets. All the time. It makes my days happier and my weeks more cheerful. Trust me: Clean sheets is worth a potential 5 Euro investment, but as if the universe wants me to have clean sheets, I’m getting 2 loads WASHED + DRIED for free! That kind of thing makes the 4 flights of stairs a lot shorter…), sorted all of our different trash containers and recycled/disposed appropriately, cleaned up (which I can’t accurately portray here, but trust me: IT IS DIFFERENT!), etc. None of these things are remarkable in and of themselves, but they are all at least a little bit different than how I would do things in my “normal” life, and they have somehow happened as if nothing was really different. I guess that means I am adjusting. Yay me.

Here’s an example, though, of something that is different that I haven’t gotten used to (and I’m not sure that I will, but I.LOVE.IT!):

Mike: “Hey Sweetie. What are our plans for the weekend?”

Moi: “Ummm… We don’t have any “plans,” per se, but I want to go to Brussels.”

Mike: “Oh. Ok. I don’t know much about Belgium except that the monks there brew really good beer.”

Moi: “Bwahhaha… All part of my master plan!”

So, yes, we spent the weekend in Belgium (and escaped the even worse weather where we live!). And we went to a beer museum. And a lot of other things. 🙂 This adventure is to be continued, but I wanted to share a slice of our weekend! Also, I wanted to brag as quickly as possible (expect this to shift to as often as possible in the near future; the bragging, I mean): I drove our (manual-shifting) car through 3 countries and on and off the highway!!! Yes, Moi!! And in a small town (but that didn’t go as well, so we aren’t going to dwell on it).. 3 COUNTRIES! 1 day!

A La Mort Subite: A pub named after a game (To the Death) its patrons used to play back when it first opened. Over 100 years ago. We had lunch here… 🙂

Hotel de Ville, capped by the Archangel St. Michael. Gorgeous in all its Gothic beauty, it has graced the Grand Place since the early 1400s.

Our first look at the Grand Place, a magnificent square in Brussels recognized as a Unesco World Heritage site. In addition to the Hotel de Ville, there are a number of buildings surrounding the square, including the Maison du Roi (King’s House), which now houses a museum. Really breathtaking, in spite of the terrible weather which greeted us when we arrived in Bruxelles.

Inside La Maison des Brasseurs (the house of the brewers) on the Grand Place.

When we arrived for the Mannekin Pis, we were there for the unveiling of one of his outfits! It was quite a spectacle! Stay tuned for the rest of this story!

The Sablon Church, a branch of Notre Dame de la Chappelle.

The Royal Palace. Unlike most American opinions of our politicians, the King and Queen here are quite beloved. Seriously people, I am thinking I may need to move here… (the palace, I mean…)

The original palace, from the way way back machine, was wrecked in a fire in the early 1700s. It was later buried to make the ground flatter (did I mention that we saw more runners in Brussels than anywhere else added together?) and a new palace was built. In the early 1900s, there was some more construction which revealed the remains of the original palace, which has since been preserved through archeological processes. This image is of the Rue Isabelle, and the white cobblestones are some of the original ones from the 12th century.

The Atomium, built for the 1958 World’s Fair.

ooooh fun! Shiny object+sunset!

Mike was playing with the camera on the subway/tram. Does this look spell tired and hungry? Yes, whether you speak English, German, Flemish, or French, this says poor pitiful soul.

The Belgians are known for their sense of humor… (as seen in a café) (Bruxelles is predominately French speaking, although the northern part of the country is more Flemish/Dutch, so the common denominator is English)

“Like taking candy from an… old lady?”
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4 thoughts on “Seven Weeks, and Redefining Weekends

  1. Hehe, I thought Mike was fist bumping the old lady (I also like the exercise ad behind him).
    Have I reminded you how much I LOVE reading your posts lately? These places are absolutely amazing! The detail on the buildings is crazy.. I could stare at The Sablon Church for hours just looking at the intricate work. I have to admit- I’ve learned a lot about Germany through your blog! This is the most interested in history I’ve been since.. probably ever, really. Keep it comin!

    • 🙂 Thanks, Ashleigh! I am embarrassed about how little I knew of Germany and German history… and that I didn’t know that I didn’t know it until I was here! But being here and seeing all kinds of crazy beautiful things that are important, that I had never even heard of… I’m a lot more interested, too!

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