It’s not fair that the weather is fantastic each time when friends come to visit me for a few days. I mean, it’s great for them but my complaints about the grey-rainy-muddy climate we usually experience just don’t seem credible.
Anyway, the weather was great in the last few days; it was the open monument day and the day without cars so no excuses for being lazy. Additionally to the European Parliament, we visited the Bibliothèque Solvay which, Belgian irony, never was a Bibliothèque (library) and the Porte de Hal. Both worth visiting.
Additionally, my friend tasted about 10 different Belgian beers, she had gauffre, moules et frittes, more frittes and all together really liked Brussels. Tant mieux alors.
Though I was in the European Parliament before, it was the first time last Saturday that I actually took a guided tour. Result: I was pretty disappointed. Contrary to the intensive one and a half hours tour I had in the Reichstag in 2006 or the relaxed visiting of the Belgian Parliament last year, the visit was 20 minutes short, the building was badly lighted and the guide was visibly stressed.
Still, some facts the guide mentioned were of interest:
63 – Number of buildings the European Commission has in Brussels (Actually, it’s more: here is the full list)
263€ – Cost of the Parliament per European citizen/year (or was it of the European Union in general?)
550 – Number of journalists having a license for the European Parliament
I don’t know how the daily tours in the Parliament are but hopefully there are good because in my point of view, well done tours in the European Parliament could increase the acceptance of European politics – exactly the kind of thing European institutions are so worried about.
It’s one of these small, pointless frustrations in life when, after getting up on what seems to be the good time, showering, dressing, having breakfast and being ready to go to work, you realise that the alarm clock was not properly timed and that you are over one hour in advance. Only, that you cannot get into the building that early and it’s not worth going back to bed. And, obviously, Internet is not working at home…
Victor Horta is one of the most important architects when it comes to Art Nouveau and his former house – now a museum – is an often sought tourist destination in Brussels. To add a bit of paper-chase fun, the tramway stop Horta and the museum are not at all in the same area as I found myself to explain to a bunch of lost French people this afternoon.