Because it’s the overrated statue that spawned the world’s tackiest souvenirs, the Mannekin Pis is something I debated as the “lead” photo for this post, but I figured it’s not my fault the city of Brussels has affiliated itself with such a lame mascot. So I’ll perpetuate its lame convenience as an instantly-recognizable symbol of Brussels. And besides, I think the following image of Mannekins in Chains is pretty funny:
Jon and I left London yesterday morning for 36 hours in Brussels. The Eurostar whisked us there in under two hours, and from the Brussels Midi Station, it was only a five-minute metro ride to Troon, the quiet neighborhood where the Stanhope Hotel is located.
Normally, preferring to spend our money on food or shopping, we avoid fancy hotels, but this time, we figured we were staying only one night, and Jon was worried that a late-November trip to Brussels in the cold, dark, wintry weather was risky enough that some mitigation was in order. And you know, we loved it. The rooms were super plush, and I have to admit that as long as there are Molton Brown products in the bathroom, I’m sucked in.
The hotel’s location is around the corner from the Troon metro stop, which also serves as the stop for eight or nine bus lines. If the weather had been warmer, we wouldn’t have even used mass transit. We could’ve walked less than five minutes to reach the Palais Royal (oh, King Leopold and your ill-gotten gains), and then a few minutes beyond that would have brought us to Brussels’ version of Museum Mile.
But because it was a little chilly and rainy this weekend, we were glad to mix up the walking with some mass transit.
Overall, I really enjoyed our trip. Our four meals and multiple snacks were all delicious and reasonably-priced; everyone we met was friendly and helpful; and the chocolates really do live up to the hype.
Details in posts to follow.