Archive | February, 2014

Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Brussels

27 Feb

Hop on to the Atomium Line of the Hop On Hop Off service to find your way to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. The Bascilica is situated atop the Koekelberg Hill, and is a unique Art Deco church that stands as the fifth largest Church in the world!
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The Basilica offers great views of the city if you gain access to the dome (which Piggletino suggests you do!). The Church holds various exhibitions and many sculptures that you can take your time to look at. Interestingly, the Basilica differs from the typical Gothic style churches and features numerous modern stained-glass windows, that gives the interior a warm feeling despite the use of concrete and terracota.

View from the dome:
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Sablon and Place Royale, Brussels

22 Feb

Remember the Hop On Hop Off service at Brussels? It has two routes that you can take. Both starts at the central station. On this journey, Piggletino took the ‘Europe line’. Some sights would include:

The Notre-Dame du Sablon, of Gothic architecture…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…Petit Sablon Square across the street from the Church, surrounded by 48 small bronze representing ancient professions such as masons, sculptors, etc…
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And Place Royale, or the King’s square of Brussels…
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…where of course, the Royal Palace of Brussels is! The Palace is situated across the Brussels Park, where many locals visit for a jog or a family day’s out. The Royal Palace is not the residence of of the royal family. It stands grandly at the cobblestoned square where the Palace of Coudenberg once was.
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While the scout was watching the changing of guards take place, Piggletino took a photo with the Palace! What a grand sight!
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Hop On Hop Off, Brussels

18 Feb

Bonjour! Piggletino is setting off on a Hop On Hop Off in Brussels! Look – this is the audio guide that has 8 languages or more!
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Ok, ok, Piggletino shall listen to the audio guide this time…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These buses have a canvas top that shelters us from the rain, but when the sun is out…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You can get an open-top bus for a better view of the city! How wonderful is this! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Be sure to check out the timetable and tourist attractions available at the City Sightseeing Brussels website! You can buy your tickets on the bus too!

Museum of Original Figurines (MOOF), Brussels

13 Feb

Remember the gigantic Smurf right outside of the Bruxelles Central Station? Piggletino’s scout has gone investigating and found why it’s sitting there! Walk right in to the Horta Gallery and you will find the Museum of Original Figurines (MOOF) !
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Check out all these little figurines…
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… and Piggletino was so excited to see Tintin! Hello guys, Piggletino is a movie star!
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…oh look, Snowy!
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What do you think if Piggletino is featured in The Adventures of Tintin? Maybe he could be Snowy’s friend!
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Or… Batman and Spiderman? Piggletino shall be a Superhero!
Only, Batman doesn’t seem to impressed with Piggletino here…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ok then, Piggletino shall visit the soft toy Snowy dogs that sit outside of the Museum!

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How cool is this Museum! Walk through the whole compound to check out more than 600 original figurines. The entrance fees are also very reasonably priced at 8 Euros. It’s a little hidden from sight – but now that Piggletino has verified that it is right behind his hotel, be sure to drop by for a visit!

Mannekin Pis, Belgian Comic Strip Centre and more

10 Feb

Piggletino couldn’t praise the location of the hotel more than ever. Everything seemed like a stone’s throw away from his comfortable little resting spot!

A ten-minute walk would take him to a famous landmark of Belgium – the Mannekin Pis. That’s the little bronze statue pee-ing into the fountain right here:
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All kinds of legends surround the little bronze statue – some say that the little boy Julien had pee-ed on a burning fuse of explosives and saved the city; some claim that he had pee-ed to put out a fire that was threatening the king’s castle. But what was of interest to Piggletino was that this 24″ bronze statue had over hundreds of costumes to be donned! He could look like an organ builder, a mayor, a soldier, or anything you could ever image!
Piggletino is jealous, and shall ask his scout to consider making clothes for him too!

(PS: if you have any ideas of what Piggletino could be dressed up as, drop a note in the comments section below! Thank you!)

Just up on the main street across the Grand Place, you will also see a grand structure – the Cathedral of St Michael and Gudula; both the patron saints of Belgium. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Another interesting place to visit about 10 minutes away from the Grand Place is marked by a gigantic statue of Gaston standing on the streets.
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As you approach Gaston, walk down the stairs behind him and you will find yourself at the Belgian Comic Strip Museum! It isn’t an easy spot to find, as the museum is within the business district. Step inside to a world of comic, characters and more, available in French, Dutch and English.
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Piggletino immediately recognised the life size models of Belgium’s famous comic characters – Tintin and friends!  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
There’s so much more to see in the museum and around Belgium; Piggletino had rushed all around the place that he had forgotten to take more photos!

The Grand Place, Brussels

6 Feb

Why was Piggletino so happy with his scout’s hotel choice?
Easy – we first look at what’s nearby to the Novotel Off Grand Place hotel. By it’s name, the hotel is a mere 5 minutes walk to the central square of Brussels (It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site!). This square is often bustling with people visiting the city town hall, guildhalls and the Breadhouse.

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Just a short walk from the Grand Place and the hotel, you’ll also find the Galeries Royales St Hubert.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

This shopping arcade imitates a courtyard with its narrow lane and two upper floors, with an arched-glass roof and Italian-style architecture.
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An intersection occurs at Rue des Bouchers, lined with cafes and restaurants. However, a quick word of warning – pick your dinner spots with care; it’s a tourist area that guarantees much touting and often-times overpriced meals! 

Now, what else lies in the vicinity of the Grand Place?

Hello, Brussels!

2 Feb

 

 

Hello everyone! Piggletino has arrived in Brussels, Belgium.

Right behind him is the Bruxelles Central station. Oh, and a huge Smurf too.
Do you wonder why the gigantic Smurf is sitting right in front of the train station? Hmmm… Piggletino shall ask his scout to find out.
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Checking in to the hotel! Piggletino found his own little couch in the room of Novotel Off Grand Place, Brussels. It’s a wonderful hotel conveniently located almost right behind the train station (no more than 3 minutes’ walk), and it has a nice pedestrian square in front it. In fact there are two other hotels right next to Novotel Off Grand Place, but Piggletino is happy with his scout’s choice!

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Look at these amazingly comfortable pillows and cushions in the room! Piggletino shall frolic on the bed and pick his favourite resting spot in the room, while his scout hops onto the free wifi offered by the hotel to check out where to visit around Brussels!

Cheers to a wonderful night’s sleep!
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