19.2.16

Brussels: trains, trams and Magritte, part 3

Magritte museum
Main Magritte museum at Place Royale
Day 4 Sunday 7 February: Today I'd planned to take a tram out of town to the Tram Museum and a vintage ride through the forest, but it doesn't open properly until April! So, it was to be the other bigger Magritte museum, the Musée Magritte Museum, in the city centre, near Royale tram stop. Now, although this has its own building, the entrance and ticket office is round the corner, through security. It's in a complex of four museums so I opted for a combo ticket at €9. After leaving my bag in a locker, we were taken by lift up to the top, and enjoyed three whole floors of Magritte art.

Brussels and Magritte
Still not a pipe!
I've seen many a Magritte exhibition - the last one in Liverpool in 2011 - and remember well that Brighton had its own collection courtesy Edward James (long gone), but there are so many more paintings of his to discover, albeit many of them variations on a theme.

Gavin Turk
Gavin Turk homage
After some cauliflower soup in the cafe (€4 plus €1 for bread), it was downstairs to the Fin de Siècle Museum. This is even bigger than the Magritte museum and doesn't really get interesting (to me) until the deepest rooms, of Art Nouveau paintings and sculptures, including a nice Burne-Jones. There are some very strange ones too, like the waterfall of naked children tryptic by Baron Léon Frederic! Thankfully there was a lift back to the surface and after a quick whizz round the Old Masters to see the Bruegels emerged into the sunlight.

The real Mannekin Pis
The wee Manneken Pis
Now for some sightseeing. I walked down through the gardens behind the museums, past the impressive Musical Instruments museum and across the Grand Place to check out the wee Manneken Pis and have a De Koninck beer in the Taverne Manneken Pis in front of a roaring fire.

Entrance to La Fleur en Papier Doré
Entrane to La Fleur en Papier Doré
Thus revived it was just a short walk to Magritte's favourite bar La Fleur en Papier Doré, polishing off my leftover sushi. Inside I had a glass of Le Forte and another Leffe Brune (yes, Belgian Special Brew, but I like it, OK?).
Beer at Magritte's favourite bar: La Fleur en Papier Doré
Le Fort and some nibbles, that's Magritte second from right
I didn't fancy the veggie stoemp option so it was a walk up to the Sabon and a 73 tram to the hotel and Call the Midwife, followed by War and Peace. There was building works outside, replacing the cobbles between the tram lines, which went on all night!

Tram repairs outside my hotel (all night!)
Road works on Avenue Louise
More photos on Flickr.

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