Brussels at first light
We were in Brussels for about 2 hours when the Hotel Arlequin frontdesk manager told us that our room was not ready, but we could go eat breakfast. I believe he suggested that we dine on the 7th floor of the of the hotel, but being so tired we missed what he was saying. So we opted to leave our luggage in the luggage room at the hotel, and go find some breakfast in lovely Brussels. Since it was so early, before 9 a.m., the streets of central Brussels were so quiet. If you have ever been to Soho Manhattan at 8 a.m. window shopping, you know that same quiet before the shops and lunch spots have a chance to open. We really enjoyed our sleepy walk through Brussels at this time, it was almost like Brussels was completely ours to take in. We had no idea that we would not ever have this quiet Brussels to ourselves again.
On the plane, we were given a breakfast snack box of a danish, bread, and some other empty carb thing. The danish was actually quite bad in my opinion, it made my stomach turn, and I did not eat any of it. At this point, I had not really eaten much for the past 14 hours, so I was rather hungry. We wondered into Grand Place Square which is really quite amazing. The architecture is breath-taking, and the artistry of each building should be drunk in by everyone who can see. These beautiful buildings are completely the opposite of the low bid federal buildings of Nashville. We spent a lot time just looking and looking, and getting hungrier and hungrier, and then we saw one tavern open with people sitting in there drinking coffee. Sign me, I am in.
The tavern is called La Brouette, and it has a red awning on the square. The decor gave a feel of an old world tavern, there was a fire going in the fire place, and the waiters and manager all were quite professional and spoke multiple languages. I tried to order our breakfast menu in French, and the manager kindly responded in English, to which I responded in both English and French, Thank You et Merci. He brought to us fresh squeezed juice, really strong cafe creme, lovely croissants and breads, butter, jams, cheeses and ham. We were so happy to have real food make with Belgium quality. Since La Brouette provide way too much food for us, I asked for a to-go bag and the manager was so kind to wrap up the extra croissants, bread, butter and jam for us in a foil shaped as a duck or maybe a swan. I was thrilled because we were going to travel down into the south of Burgundy on Sunday, and the leftover croissants were going to make a great road snack. This breakfast treat really hit the spot.
We left this tavern to see what we could see, and waste a little more time until about 10:30 a.m. to see if we could check into our room. During our walk, we kept on seeing these signs for the Keno game. Since we don't know Flemish, we have no idea what the sign says. We can think it says something like, there are many ways to play Keno like the Kama Sutra. We did not play Keno, so we are not sure.
The hotel staff at the Hotel Arlequin were so gracious and helpful, and the let us check in 5 hours early at no extra cost! We did need a nap before taking in more the city. So off to la-la land for a couple hours before fulfilling our list of things we wanted to see and do.