At dinner we had organised to met Julie at the Ibis motel in Brussels the next day which we did, about 40 mins behind schedule because we were slow starting after a late night. Julie had planned a few tourist destinations for us and it was first stop at the “King’s garden”. The King’s garden was a special event because it is only open a couple of weeks a year. We toured the greenhouses which seemed to be full of plants that need to be very carefully grown in Brussels and are therefore unusual but grow out of control in many Sydney gardens. However, the tour was very interesting and even the kids enjoyed it despite the drizzling rain outside.
After the King’s garden to went to Julie’s apartment for lunch. She cooked pasta, the kids’ favourite, and we relaxed for a while. Over lunch we set an agenda for the afternoon and we visited the Grand Place and Manneken Pis, which is a 10 inch high statue of a little boy doing a wee.
Belgium is famous for french fries, waffles, chocolate, lace and smurfs. Mathew and Sophie had both brought stuffed toy smurfs with them from Sydney so they were very pleased to find a Smurf shop and Matthew bought a small Jokey Smurf. Sophie bought a stuffed monkey. It was now drizzling and Julie showed us to a tram to take back to the train station where a bus was waiting to take us back to our hotel.
When we got back we went to have a Chinese meal at the adjoining restaurant. Dinner was good but was made notable by the fact that the French speaking girl taking the order did not only not understand when I asked for a “cafe au lait” but she was clearly annoyed at me for not being able to make my request in beautiful French that she could understand. So I settled for an instant coffee in my room. After dinner we went to bed it had been a hard day because the kids were tired after a late night at Laurent and Julie’s place.