March 08, 2013-Atomium-2450

The Atomium was constructed for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair.  The structure stands on an area that also includes a park and expo centers.  Each sphere of the Atomium is 18m in diameter, and you can climb to the top.


We woke up a little before 9am to have our continental breakfast made by the B&B owner Cecil.  He had croissants, baguettes, toast, ham, cheese, yogurt, cereal, and different spreads laid out for us!  Definitely one of the best breakfasts we have had at a hostel.  A traditional Belgian spread was one of those options.  It’s called Speculoos… and it’s amazing.  I guess it’s carmel and cinnamon cookies crusted up into a paste.  It looks like peanut butter, but it’s much sweeter.  We asked for a few suggestions of where to go and headed off!

The first place we went to was the Atomium (as seen above).  In a way, it’s kind of a ridiculous structure to build, but also pretty cool looking.  We walked around the park there for a little, which included an open air theatre and some wooded areas. We have missed seeing so many trees since we’ve been in the city!

From the Atomium, we went to what Cecil had told us was the third largest Basilica in the world – Basilica of the Sacred Heart.  It’s not actually the third largest, but is still breathtaking up close.  We were able to walk in the cathedral as well.  Since the Basilica is so new (completed around 1970), there is even a restaurant inside.  We all thought that was a little bit odd!  The whole walk up the Basilica from the metro stop was through Elisabeth Park, a place that had a circular path that many joggers were taking advantage of.  The city seemed far more active when compared to Rome – I’m a little jealous of all the parks they have to run in!

Our last stop was at Luxembourg Square, an area of the city with many of the important government/parliament buildings.  After seeing the popular Royal Palace of Brussels, we decided to just start walking a different way and kept running into cool buildings!  I’ve heard people say that Brussels isn’t all that exciitng, but this last part of the day changed my mind about that.  Every block, there would be another large, ornately design building, church, or park.  We ended up in a plaza that overlooked a good portion of the city, with the Atomium off in the distance.

March 08, 2013-RoyalPalaceofBrusselsRoommates-2535
In Front of the Royal Palace

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