Visit Brussels by Mouse
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 Intrepid Traveler
Brussels is the capitol of Belgium, the seat of the French speaking culture, and home to the European Union and NATO.  It is also a beautiful city, part built on a hilltop and part below.  Like many European cities it has a large population of residents who immigrated from other nations.  There are large Turkish and Moroccan communities, for example.  The square where the city hall is located (photo at right) is called the Grand Place, and it deserves its name.  The Royal Museum of Fine Arts is first class and there also is a Museum of Musical Instruments devoted to the history of music.
Brussels was the first Belgian city we set foot on because that was where we flew to and from on our first trip in 2002.  We saw almost nothing of Brussels when we flew there and took a train to Bruges.  We saw a little more on our departure because we had an afternoon and evening before our flight the next day.  Our hotel was up the hill from the train station in a Turkish neighborhood.  That day in June, Turkey's soccer team won a huge game in the World Cup competition and there were great and joyful celebrations on our street, with cars whizzing by, people hanging out the windows waving Turkey's colors, horns blaring and, literally, dancing in the streets.
We had a nice dinner in a Turkish restaurant, walked a long ways on a street overlooking the city, through a pretty park into a shopping arcade where we bought some very expensive Belgian chocolates to take home.
We had one other visit to Brussels when we took an excursion train trip from Ghent--a great bargain.  In Belgium people over 65 can take same-day round trips for 2 Euros, 50 each.  You can't beat that anywhere else we know of.  And Belgium is so small, you can visit many cities that way wherever you are.  The train ride was about an hour and that left a lot of time to visit in Brussels.
Everyone will tell you that the Grand Place where there is the city hall and the main tourist office. This is a very nice area to walk and gawk around. We also visited the Museum of Musical Instruments which is devoted to the history of music, and ate lunch in a beautiful room there overlooking Brussels.  And we visited the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, a very large, grand building full of beautiful paintings and sculptures.
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