On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

On The Road and In Your Backyard is a weekday feature spotlighting reader submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, please share your part of the world, whether you’re traveling or just in your locality. Share some photos and a narrative, let us see through your pictures and words. We’re so lucky each and every day to see and appreciate the world around us!

Submissions from commenters are welcome at tools.balloon-juice.com


Since it’s Friday, it.must.be.otmar – wahoo!


Have a great weekend, everyone. Next week will include a couple of mega posts, so prepare for the awesomeness!

Today, pictures from valued commenter otmar.

In the second week of October, I spent time in Brussels attending a training. For most of the time I was holed up in a windowless room inside a conference hotel, but I in the end I managed to get out a bit to bring you some pictures from Brussels.

The gates of town hall are well adorned by sculptures. Here is a detail.

Opposite of Town Hall there is the building of Brussels City Museum. http://www.brusselscitymuseum.brussels/en
The house is a similar in style to the town hall, but not quite as impressive.

But: this building is more or less a fake: the original one from the 16th century was not sustainable so the completely rebuilt it from scratch in neo-gothic style in 19th century.

The old center of Brussels is the Grand-Place/Grote Markt (yes, this is a bi-lingual town: French and Dutch).

The square is dominated by the city hall, but the other buildings are not bad, either. AFAIK these used to be guild halls.

This picture is the NW side.

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brussels_Town_Hall the first parts of the house were built in 1420. As usual for these things, its history includes damage due to a fire, rebuilding and renovations.

When I was there, the square was full of tourists.

Taken on 2018-10-13 00:00:00

There were some festivities in Brussels on Saturday. Apparently there is an order of the friends of Manneken Pis (https://ordre-manneken-pis.wikeo.be/) which celebrate all his costumes (see https://www.manneken-pis.be/en/) each year by dressing up the famous statue of the pissing boy in their own outfit.

And drink beer. And march through the city. And have a big banquet at the same hotel where I did my training.


Thank you so much otmar, do send us more when you can.


Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.


Submissions should be sent via the all-new form at https://tools.balloon-juice.com

16 replies
  1. 1
    Lapassionara says:

    What a lovely city. Thanks for sharing.

  2. 2
    J. says:

    Love the photos and the descriptions.

  3. 3
    Amir Khalid says:

    The order of the friends of Manneken Pis — they don’t emulate him in public, do they?

  4. 4
    debbie says:

    Beautiful as always. Interesting to see there was as much care in building the town hall as there was building churches and palaces.

  5. 5

    Lovely place. I’ve never been to Brussels. I had no idea.

  6. 6
    otmar says:

    Sheesh, the order of the pics is messed up again.

  7. 7
    JPL says:

    Thank you for submitting the pics, and what a beautiful and historic city. When my son was a consultant he had the opportunity to travel to Brussels for work, and I have the photo he took of the Manneken Pis hung behind the toilet.

  8. 8
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @otmar: I saved the submission so I’ll look to see if we have a bug a bit later. So sorry!

  9. 9
    kattails says:

    Just gorgeous, I could live there! Thanks for sharing these. The closest I’ve been is Amsterdam, similar architecture and feeling. And a very pearly, northern light quality.

  10. 10
    otmar says:

    Overall, Brussels is not a very beautiful city. It is large and has its share of large town problems.

    If you want to see nice towns in Belgium, go to Leuven or Brugge.

  11. 11
    otmar says:

    @debbie: more pictures, including churches next week.

  12. 12
    Mike in NC says:

    So much of Belgium was blown to shit by the Germans in 1914.

  13. 13
    Tenar Arha says:

    Beautiful. Thanks otmar!

  14. 14
    Mr. Prosser says:

    I have never desired to be in a fraternity, be a Mason, Elk, Eagle or Moose, but; The Order of the Friends of Mannekin Pis? I’d join in a Brussels minute.

  15. 15
    J R in WV says:

    I gotta say, Friends of Mannekin Pis is the first fraternal org I’ve been tempted by in a very long time.

    I would hope they emulate Mannekin Pis early and often. Wherever they are when the need strikes them. Else, what’s the point? ;-)

  16. 16
    J R in WV says:

    @J R in WV:

    Also, thanks Otmar, the usual great job. We are all grateful for seeing the best little bits of Europe as you travel around both professionally and recreationally. Makes me want to spend a fall in Europe!

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