A Stroll in Brussels at Christmas Time
It's been a busy week for me this week. In fact, so busy that I can't believe it's only been a week. On Monday I went to Brussels, the capital of Belgium and the centre of the EU for a few days. I had hoped to get some great shots of the city and its famous Christmas markets, but fate, and weather intervened, so I cam back with only a handful of shots that I wasn't overly happy with. Still, it was better than nothing.
It was my first trip to the city and I have to say, it wasn't the best introduction. For a start the weather was horrible. It was dark and cold and there was a constant drizzle of sleet in between the heavier showers. Where we were staying was a hilly and somewhat grotty part of the city, although it's supposed to be one of the main centres so, I don't know. On top of that on our first night out we had the rudest waiter I have ever come across in any of my travels which really put a bitter tone on the trip. There was a litany of issues with out hotel too, but I won't bore you with the details. (A three hour black out on out final night there was the highlight!) But, one must make the best of ones circumstances so I did make the effort to get some photography done despite the climatic deterrent.
I took my Canon 5D II on this trip and my newish 17-40mm Lens. I figured this would be a good combination for the narrow cobblestoned streets. And boy are those streets cobblestoned. Important safety tip - watch out for missing stones. When it's raining and you don't notice a cobblestone is missing, you end up with a cold wet foot and a sore ankle. Just saying.
When I said that the weather was horrible, I really can't describe just how unpleasant it was. Cold seems so much worse when it's a damp cold. You wouldn't mind if it was snowing, or dry and freezing, but it was a constant state of cold icy drizzle that really got into your bones.
There was this lovely indoor shopping gallery between where our hotel was and the "Grand Place", one of the main tourist destinations. There were some lovely quaint little stores in it. Plus it was dry. Always a bonus that.
The Grand Place itself is quite pretty and ornate and the Architecture is a fascinating combination of Gothic and Classical.
This was the rather interesting modern artistic Christmas Tree. It worked much better at night though when it was lit up green
There were some other interesting squares and streets in the same area. While a lot of it appeared grey and dull, there were some nice streets with some lovely buildings and shops...
That's about it really. The trip was kind of a bust, photographically speaking, although at least I got something I suppose.