This morning we had an early wakeup.
We say 'we', it was the entire camping field - the French gangsters decided that them and a couple of much younger than themselves girls would have their own party at 4 AM... on a campsite... in Grimbergen... and not go out in Brussels?! Luckily Beth didn't have to get up and tell them to be quiet again, the French lady across the way went over to them and rattled their tent and had a word.
The actual normal human morning came along and the campsite owner was notified about the goings on and he immediately went over to their tent, shook it and opened the zip and told them "Morning, I want your tent and you two gone within the hour" YOU RULE GRIMBERGEN CAMPSITE OWNER!
Whilst they packed their stuff away, looking pretty damn rough, we observed them and chuckled with Charlotte and Lewis (the couple who had arrived and were leaving the same time as us) over our first brew of the week- lovely!
We packed our things up, helped Charlotte and Lewis out with their much bigger (we are only jealous) tent and we all went to check-out. Before we went our separate ways we got ourselves a photo together. Was so nice to meet a couple of friendly faces to have a chat to, so thanks Charlotte and Lewis- hopefully catch up with you guys real soon and good luck with the rest of your travels! :)
Once packed, we headed into Brussels again to try and see the more touristy side that Charlotte and Lewis told us about. We parked up in the historic city center this time, just a short walk away from the main square. Our mission was to find the three pissing statues. The Manneken Pis, Jeanneke Pis and Zinneke Pis. Lovely.
Initial impressions of Brussels today were that it was vastly different from the one we saw previously. It was a lot more tourist friendly, seemed cleaner and easier to get around.
Our first port of call was the Jeanneke Pis, this statue was commissioned in 1985 as a counterpoint to the more famous and much older Manneken Pis, built in 1619. The statue is tucked away down a small alleyway, near a lot of very tempting restaraunts. This part of Brussels was definitely different. The architecture was varied, a mix of new and old, sometimes right next to each other!
We found ourselves a postcard at one of the many souvenir shops as we made our way to the main square, which was pretty busy, but unfortunately not filled with a million flowers. We were 3 weeks too early for that! :(
Next up was finding the mannekin pis, which wasn't particularly hard as it was the area with the biggest crowd of tourists! In some ways, the crowd was more entertaining than the statue. Nevertheless, we got photos.
Finally we made our way over to the pissing dog, which disappointingly didn't actually wee. Sad.
As a treat to cheer ourselves up, and when in Belgium, it is a must to taste some of the world's finest chocolate, right? Right, we thought so too! Walking back to the car we found a vintage (probably hipster) looking chocolate shop, got given a free sample and then selected several squares of chocolate to try, each with different toppings. For €3.60, we didn't complain.
Luckily we made it back to the car just as it started to rain. We ate our lunch, had a quick chill out (this travelling milarky is hard work) and drove for 2.5 hours away from the city to Vianden, a small town in Luxemburg. This place is our campsite for the next two nights, and what a camping spot we got by the river!