Brussels Seafood Expo, an unexpected story!

It’s been a while since I wrote anything on here, so I’m rather overdue.

Expo

The Brussels Seafood Expo has had an impact on me before, I was dismayed, shortly after starting work in Brussels to find that all of the hotel rooms had tripled in price from one week to the next! I ended up staying in Antwerp for the week and commuting an hour each way on the train!

This year the expo was held between 6th and 8th May at the Exposition Centre, which is not far from the Atomium on the site of the 1958 world’s fair.

The story

The unexpected story for is the headline grabbing prize win by a seafood company from the Falkland Islands.

Flaklands Prize

A big story in the South Atlantic

I was unaware that the Falkland Islands seafood industry was so international in it’s focus though I guess that’s exactly the sort of thing you need to do to make a living when you fish and squid from some tiny remote islands in the South Atlantic.

As I started to read more I became intrigued by the fact that this was published on a dedicated news agency for the South Atlantic from Montevideo which is the capital of Paraguay. Some of the other recent stories paint a picture of the Falklands as a fishing hub of the world!

Squid is big business it seems, what do you do with over 200,000 tons of squid?

Just another week for the surreal capital of Europe!

The Major Brussels Landmarks

Belgium is a comparatively small country, but it’s a treasure box of breathtaking sights. Brussels, the heart of Belgium, needs the special attention. It’s definitely one of Europe’s must see destinations and the English is commonly spoken. It hosts many international organizations, is easy to access from any location and that’s why it attracts tourists form the entire world. If this is your first visit here, I’d like to offer you the list of major Brussels landmarks you should start exploring Brussels from:

1. The Grand Place.

Grand Place

Grand Place

The central square of Brussels is listed as one of the most beautiful squares in Europe by the UNESCO World Heritage site. Built in 13th century, it is dragging your attention by ornate baroque and gothic buildings. It serves as a venue for numerous concerts and events throughout a year. Today it’s full of taverns and restaurants which help you to fully enjoy the Belgian hospitality. It is always open and the admission is free of charge.

2. The Royal Palace.

The Royal Palace Brussels

The Royal Palace Brussels

This building represents the Neo-classical architecture and overlooks the Brussels park. This is the official place of Belgium monarchy and the main court ceremonies and royal audiences are held here as well. If the king is in the country, it can be noticed by the flag flying on the top of the building. The admission is open from July to September.

3. Manneken Pis.

Mannekin Pis

Mannekin Pis

The statue of a boy peeing in the fountain was presented to the public in 1619. Since then, there’s a tradition for the heads of various countries visiting Brussels to bring the miniature version of their national costumes for the boy. The boy’s wardrobe includes over 700 costumes and can be admired in Brussels museum.

4. The Atomium.

The atomium

The atomium

It’s one of the most unusual and popular city landmarks – the model of an iron atom magnified 165 billion times. It was built in 1958 for the World Fair exhibition and now there’s a restaurant with a magnificent city view in the top sphere of the construction. [I’ve written at length about the Atomium, here and here – ed]

5. The Museum of Musical Instruments

Old England Building

Museum of Musical Instruments

The Museum of Musical Instruments (MIM) is a breathtaking building combining the architecture styles Art Nouveau and Neo-Classic. To his visitors the museum offers the collection of over 7000 musical instruments of different kinds. At the top floor, there’s a restaurant that lets you enjoys the wonderful 360° view on Brussels.

6. Cathedral of Saints Michel and Gudula.

Cathedral of Saints Michel and Gudula

Cathedral of Saints Michel and Gudula

The national Belgium church where royal weddings take place is built in Braban Gothic style. It was founded in 11th century but only gained the cathedral status in 20th century. The sound of over 50 bells can be regularly heard from here on Sundays.

7. The Town Hall.

Brussels Town Hall

Brussels Town Hall

It’s easy to see by its tall gothic tower, built in 13th century, and forming one of the sides of the Grand Place. You can attend the interior tours and admire the 15th century tapestries and works of art.

About the author: Paul Smith is an eager traveler. He works as a writer for the best essay writing service and also writes blog posts about business, traveling, lifestyle and many others. Contact him at Google+.

Ten things to do in Brussels (that you might not have thought of)

We can forgive sophisticated travelers who forget about Brussels, the capital of Europe, famous for the sculpture of the 17th century, depicting a boy pissing in a fountain. However, tourists who ignore Brussels, a centre of the European Union, twice fried French-fried potatoes and surrealist painter Rene Magritte, take a risk.

First of all, they lose an opportunity to know more about food, as Brussels is a true “Milky Way” of Michelin stars. Second, they are missing a possibility to learn something about the beer, as in Belgium there are more than 600 varieties of beer, including beer brewed by monks. The list can be extended by rich cultural life and numerous unique places. Now it is obvious why nobody should treat Brussels as provincial and boring city. Indeed, Brussels has become one of Europe’s most important cultural centers. Join the crowd of people in front of the Peeing Boy, and you will understand why.

Let’s check the list of ten of the most interesting things to do in Brussels

1. Park “Mini-Europe”

Here you will see a wonderful collection of the most famous buildings in Europe at a scale of 1:25. The Eiffel tower, the Acropolis and the Leaning Tower of Pisa are only a few examples of what you can see here, this is a fabulous place where you can feel like Gulliver! Both children and adults will definitely like this wonderful park. Don’t forget to bring your camera with you.

mini europe

mini europe

 2. Beersel Castle 

You definitely will not regret making a journey to Beersel Castle. This construction of the XIII century with towers and old drawbridge will definitely impress you. In addition to the historical significance of the place, there are many great restaurants which offer stunning cuisine.

Beersel Castle

Beersel Castle

3. Nemo 33

If you are fond of diving, be sure to visit the deepest swimming pool in the world for diving. It is obvious from the name that the depth of this pool is 33 metres! The diving centre is open 365 days a year. Here you can attend scuba diving courses and get your instructor’s certificate. If you are not fond of diving, this is not a reason to skip Nemo 33, you can find wonderful Thai restaurant, convenient for business meetings or having dinner with friends.

nemo33

nemo33

4. Skiing

Those who can’t live without skiing and snowboarding will certainly appreciate the fact that the main ski resorts in Europe are located not that far from Brussels. However, before you begin to conquer the famous mountainsides, it’s better to practice on easier routes. It can be easily done in the capital of Belgium. Anderlecht resort offers excellent ski-runs and all the necessary equipment to rent.

5. The Grand Place

The Grand Place has been a place for gathering for centuries. This is the place where all major historical took place. Now it is one of the most popular tourist attractions. There are many restaurants and cafes, shops, and exceptionally beautiful buildings.

The Grand Place

The Grand Place

The market square appeared in the twelfth century where dried up bogs used to be. The Famous Bread House (the King’s House) and the Town Hall can be viewed here. The buildings standing on the market square of Brussels is in the list of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Every two years, on August 15th millions of multi-colored begonias are planted here, making the most enormous blossoming flower bed. If you’re lucky enough to be in Brussels at this time – do not miss this show (Ed -the last time was in 2012, so it will be on again this year see http://www.flowercarpet.be/).

6. Royal Museum of Fine Arts 

This museum has an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures, owned by the  Belgium Government. It consists of the Royal Museum located next to the Royal Palace Museum of Old Art and Museum of Modern Art, Antoine Wiertz Museum and  Museum of Constantin Meunier in Ixelles. This place is worth visiting.

Royal Museum of Fine Arts brussels

Royal Museum of Fine Arts brussels

7. Shopping

If you have a strong desire to spend money in luxury stores you should go to Avenue Louise and Boulevard de Waterloo. You can start with the surrounding Chaussee d’Ixelles where less expensive H&M, Mango, Etam are situated. Boulevard de Waterloo is the place where international brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Chanel, Bvlgari, Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton can be found. Things made by famous Belgians are waiting for you in multi-brand boutiques on Avenue Louise.

One of the oldest shopping centers in Europe – Galeries Royales St-Hubert with a glass roof (Metro: Gare Centrale) welcomes you in Brussels. There are boutiques, restaurants, cafes, bookstores, theater and cinema. Here you can listen to street musicians playing classical music. Gallery, opened in 1847 and built in the style of the Italian neo-Renaissance, Galeries Royales St-Hubert definitely deserves your attention, even if you do not like shopping. there are restaurants, cafes, bookstores, theater and cinema.

Flea market at Jeu de Ball is full of unusual jewelry, souvenirs, paintings, clothing, and a lot of other interesting things. The market is open daily from 7:00 am to 2 pm.

Brussels Flea Market

Brussels Flea Market

8. Horse riding

Not many people know that in Brussels horseback riding is available. However, tourists enjoy horse riding in the popular Centre Equestre de la Cambre in the forest Ter Kameren situated the centre of the city. Here you will find everything necessary, from horses and equipment to teachers. Another wonderful place is Les Drags club located at Hoeilaart, near the Soignes forest, offers endless riding opportunities.

Brussels Horse Riding

Brussels Horse Riding

9. Belgian Comic Strip Center

Belgium is a homeland of comic books, it is not surprising that the Centre for Comic Strip Art is located here, in a building in Art Nouveau by grand master Victor Horta. This place is a magnet for children and adults everybody who is fond of this colorful and interesting art. The museum contains more than 25,000 comic books, including original drawings of the famous master Hergé’s comic books.

Comic Strip Center

Comic Strip Center

10. Eat in Brussels

Some people believe that the Belgian cuisine is the most delicious in the world, it has many components that are based on the standards of French and German culinary traditions. You will find 2,000 restaurants in Brussels. Eight of them are marked with Michelin Stars (4 – 1 star, 4 – 2 stars), and it means a lot. You will definitely enjoy eating in the capital of Belgium!

Brussels Restaurants

Brussels Restaurants

About the author: Melisa Marzett writes articles dedicated to tourism, traveling and geography. You can contact with Melisa on Google+

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