On Wednesday 16th August we drove the quieter roads to our campsite in Grimbergen about an hour away from the centre of Brussels.
We left the van and caught a bus to a metro station half an hour away. Our tickets were valid for an hour and we tried to get down to the platform without success even getting stuck between two doors (luckily one opened). We then realised that our ticket was not valid on the metro so bought another one.
We (who had managed ticketing machines in various countries) could not see how to get a ticket and although we could change the language to English, nothing further was shown in English. There was no one around to ask for help so we went up the escalator into a small corner shop and the foreign shopkeeper was most helpful. He locked his shop and came down with us and showed us the strange method of turning a dial to the ticket that you needed. We missed a couple of trains in the meantime but made it into Metro Louize and down the Avenue Louise to meet our friends Robert and Gay who were staying in Brussels city.

We found a restaurant “Le Rouge Tomate” and sat in the garden for a long and delicious lunch and Robert and I managed a bottle of red.
From there we walked quite a long way to find the “Horta” museum which was Mr Horta’s house. He was an architect and the house was an amazing three storey work of art – beautiful woodwork, lighting, metal work and interesting stained glass. Every aspect of the house was beautiful.
We finished off the day at a small Brussels pub not far away and tried a few different beers – the cherry beer was the only one we thought was like fizzy cough medicine. Maurice and I were lucky to catch the metro back in time to catch the bus back to the campsite as there was only one bus an hour.
We had a lot of rain in the morning so we walked into Grimsbergen and around the quaint town.

Another rainy day in Brussels greeted us but we went into the city this time by bus and tram which took about an hour and we met Robert and Gay at the Grand Place, a beautiful square in the middle of the city. We met our guide together with many others who had braved the rain for our free walking tour. There are a lot of large squares in the old part of the city surrounded by interesting architecture. There were wide boulevards but a lot of the city had cobblestones which we were glad to get off later in the day.
We had a nice lunch at ‘Publico’ tasting another of the thousands of Belgian beers available in the city. One of the many museums had an exhibition of Matritte’s surrealist art. It was interesting to see but some of the surrealism was a bit too much for me.

On our way back to the metro we saw an acrobatic couple performing when the traffic stopped at a major intersection. The military were out in force all over the city and at that intersection but they didn’t seem to mind them there at all.

In the morning we picked up Robert and Gay and headed for Leuven and then on to Maastricht. It was market day in Leuven and it had a beautiful historical town centre with a very large church with interesting spires in the main square. We had a coffee (the Belgians make a strange cappuccino with a ton of cream on top). One cafe even refused to make it with milk and another one said that their barista was on holiday and was the only one who knew how to froth the milk. Very weird.
We bought some good fruit from a couple of Tunisian brothers and left for Maastricht.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.