Adventures in Design- Belgium

Last month was super busy with work and travel. We’ve just returned from an amazing family vacation in Paris, but before we got there, my son and I made a stop in Belgium. While we’d been planing our trip to France for years, our Brussels add-on was very last minute. In fact, we booked the trip and then googled what to see!

We ended up having a blast. While we did see most of the things on the Top 10 list by wandering around, what was the most interesting to us was the Belgium capital’s joie de vivre. The sun doesn’t set until after 10pm and everyone hangs out on the sidewalk cafes. We ate so many wonderful farm-to-table meals and my son (who is finally 21) enjoyed every Belgium beer ordered. The city was welcoming and had a wonderfully relaxed vibe. Cute little shops were tucked into side streets and both the Metro and tram systems were very easy to figure out.

One morning was spent at the Military Museum in Parc de Cinquantenaire, which was fascinating. Alex is a huge WWI buff and he was thrilled to see the real version of what he had studied. In the afternoon, we were off to the Victor Horta Museum. This was definitely one of those ‘Designer Geek’ moments for me. We studied this time period, Art Nouveau, in school, but to stand in this masterpiece was an amazing experience. Unfortunately, they don’t allow photos, but trust me when I tell you it is a fantastic design experience. I’m so happy that I was able to see it.

Of course, we visited Bruge, and it’s a very cute town, but it’s such a ‘must see’ tourist spot that we fled after lunch. As Alex astutely noted, “Every 70 year old on earth is in Bruge today”. Most of our time, though, we spent walking the city of Brussels. The Grande Place is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Art Nouveau buildings popped up around every corner. And I highly recommend the chocolate! It was an amazing experience that we sandwiched into 3 days. You need to go; you’ll love it!