Brussels: trains, trams and Magritte, part 4

 Day 5 Monday 8 February: On Mondays most museums are closed, so a long tram or metro trip was in order. And as it was windy and absolutely throwing it down outside, I stopped for a while at the Natural Coffee House on the corner. Bought a croissant from Teddy L and jumped on the 73 tram (temp stop outside the Michael Collins irish pub cos the road was up) to Louise then down to the M6 metro to Heysel and the Atomium. "Built for the 1958 World Exhibition, the Atomium is shaped on the model of an elementary iron crystal enlarged 165 billion times."

I was planning to buy a combo ticket, to include the ADAM art and design museum, but the price was considerably higher than the website said (it would have been €14) , and there were hoards of kids in the queue. Also, they warned of stairs, so I figured they'd not repaired the escalators since last I went up it with Jonny the Lodger.

ADAM, Brussels
So I headed back towards the station and into the modern building that is ADAM. It was €8 to get in and very disappointing - unless you love plastic chairs. It was basically the Plasticarium Collection (that I think used to be housed in the Atomium) plus a lot of big empty rooms. The cafe was tiny and the shop expensive. Bad choice, I should have gone up the Atomium. Ah well. I walked up towards the Art Deco building (Palais des Expositions from the 1935 Expo) and back to the metro station.

Palais des Expositions 1935

On the way back I took a detour on the metro to find Central Station, which I did and discovered I was literally yards away  the other day! I bought a crusty sandwich from Exki and skirted the Grand Place heading for Bourse. I'd been tipped off on Facebook (by Tamsin) about an Art Nouveau bar called Le Cirio.

Central station, Brussels
Central station, designed by Horta
It was late afternoon, so first I had a coffee at another Natural Coffee Cafe, then had a couple of Grimbergen dark beers in this wonderful bar. A strange woman on the next table to me, who was eating her way through the not so appetising menu, gave me a praline! Then it was the metro back to Gare du Midi and a try out on tram 81 back to Bailli (one of those older ones with three steps up.) I popped into the Cock's Fresh (yes!) supermarket to buy a couple of cans : Leffe Brune, and Palm, and watched tv in my room. The building work outside went on all night!

Grimbergen at Le Cirio

Day 6 Tuesday 9 February 2016: I struggled to get my case up the three-step 81 tram in the rain (it was easier getting off). A slightly goth young woman sat opposite me and pulled from a brown paper bag a brand new copy of Mein Kampf, with day-glo cover. I bought another crusty sandwich from the station Exki, had a cappuccino in the departure lounge, and soon I was back in Blighty.

More photos on Flickr.

Brussels, part 3 >

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