Instead of ascending to the interior of the Atomium, we decided to check out the nearby Mini Europe. These replica models of renowned monuments are accurate to scale. Here is a selection of the models relevant to places that I have visited or will soon visit on this trip.
The Paris region with the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe with Centre Georges Pompidou hidden behind in the left corner. Of course, the Atomium provides the backdrop to remind us that we were still in Brussels.
London Palace of Westminster
The entire view of the Grand Place. Take a look at my day and night photos of this square Here.
Just outside of Mini Europe is the Heysel Metro Station and 25 minutes on line 6 of the Brussels Metro took us straight to Brussels South Station. The fare was €2 per person.
We purchased a Rail Pass to use on Belgian Railways. This €76 discount pass is valid for 10 second-class journeys to any destination within Belgium. This pass can also be used by multiple people on the same trip and was the best deal for our itinerary.
After grabbing some take-out at the station, we boarded the train in the direction of Knokke, which took us to Bruges in little under an hour. Time to dive into that box of complimentary Neuhaus chocolate at the courtesy of Brussels Marriott! The ganache in the upper left corner was amazing!
Arrived in Bruges!
Let's get started with a half an hour boat ride to get an overview of the city.
My boat's departure point and the swans later swimming alongside the boat.
Lace work is also a local specialty.
The Belfry of Bruges and its model in Mini Europe.
While I didn't climb the tower myself, I will share the photo of the square that my companions took from the top.
A very long line for some waffles just off the square.
On our way back to the train station, we passed by this beer wall at 2Be. Given more time, I would definitely like to have grabbed a drink and explored the shop within.
A final dusk shot of the tower.
With my visit to the Magritte Museum still vivid in my memory, we headed for dinner at Taverne du Passage as soon as we were back in Brussels. Apparently the artist used to frequent this restaurant back in his days.
We ordered more mussels and some rib steak to share. The Brugs white beer appeared on the table again because we enjoyed it the night before! It was a good meal overall.
I returned to the hotel to find these adorable curved pumpkins in the lobby! I feel the staff's enthusiasm really translates to the quality of the service. I really enjoyed my stay at the Brussels Marriott.
Which pumpkin would you vote for?
53 Wollestraat, Bruges
Taverne du Passage
30 Galerie de la Reine, Brussels