Our very first visit to Brussels and we find an entirely different architecture from our regular stays in Paris. The old city buildings many from medieval times are constructed with small red bricks and it is only the more recent mansions that are built of large blocks of stone.
The gables are a way to express differences in taste and wealth. One of the buildings right in the main square of Bruges that I am looking at now has a humble wicker basket on top, made of a more weatherproof material of course.Regardless of the era built, city houses are tall and narrow, when we saw a door open in a small street we spied that it had its kitchen on the ground floor and a narrow staircase takes you up to the next floor for living rooms and top floors have the bedrooms. All those stairs would drive me crazy.
The people in Belgium are friendly and open, and we have been very pleased with the service in our first hotel in Brussels. It was the kind of hotel where the staff seem to be part of one big family. The internet was not working well in our room so they offered to move us or use their ‘dongle’….. for our laptop.The Brussels hotel sitting room had comfortable chairs covered in natural linen, a hallmark of Belgian textiles.I will do a separate post on a beautiful shop in Brussels with home furnishings and household items that are designed by artists and hand-made.
I selected our hotels by looking at Grand Small Hotels on the net, they are united on the website but for the Brussels and Bruges accommodation we chose there was no similarity whatsoever.
Our room is reached by walking across a small courtyard.
The roads are being dug up around the town and causing a major nuisance. Ground works around one of the top hotels is preventing a graceful arrival.
It appears to us that it is more common for the Belgians to speak Flemish, French and English. We have not had any issues being understood and that does not happen all the time in France.Big cities always have dissident artists.