Our last day in Brussels was spent with me finishing my paper in the hotel room while Anja went to the Museum of Natural Sciences to see their dinosaur exhibits. Since I have no interest in dinosaurs or anything of the sort, and I had a final project to write for my last class, which is akin to a thesis, I wanted to stay in. After a while I knew I needed a break, so I ventured outside for a stroll. The receptionist recommended that I go to the Bailli stop on the tram, and if I head west on the street I will get to a plaza called Place du Chatelain. It was quite a long walk to the Bailli stop, and I don’t think I ever saw the plaza, but I did end up at a little square where a church stood. It was drizzling a bit during this time, and it was a little inconvenient to have my camera out in the open as I feared it would get wet, but I managed to take some shots of the church and the surrounding scene. I continued to walk some more, with my hoodie up on my head. There were a lot of shops all around, mostly boutique clothing and furniture shops, as well as cafes and restaurants.
This was the Ixelles neighborhood, which I think was nice, quiet livable and in close proximity to rich streets like Avenue Louise. If I were to live in Brussels, I wouldn’t mind getting a place in that neighborhood. I walked around some more and I spotted so many boutique stores that carry clothing and accessories that I like, but all of them were closed. I spotted a store that caught my attention, and there I was, with a coffee cup in my hand, looking through the glass window, hand in my trench coat pocket… and it occurred to me that I was in a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” moment. It was quite marvelous 🙂
I proceeded to walk some more and find my way back to Chassures de Charleroi, where our hotel was located. I eventually found it, but not until stopping by a boutique shop that was opened (but didn’t see anything I liked) and a Carrefour store. When I got back to the hotel, Anja was back from the museum, and so we made our way to the city center for our last stop in Brussels before we take our trains going separate ways the day after.
Our last stop in Brussels was at St. Catherine Church, going all the way to Rue de Antoine Dansaert. The neighborhood was quite low key but trendy; the huge church was there, and also a ton of restaurants and shops that varied in price and offerings. There were a few stores that I wanted to check out, but since it was a Sunday, they were all closed so I was not able to get in. I did list the store names in case they have available selections online or if I find myself back in Brussels, I’ll make sure to check them out then. We walked around, taking in the sights, stopping by bakeries to pick up some pastries that we will miss when we leave Brussels, and had dinner at this nice Italian restaurant called Il Primo Piatti. We had carbonara, tiramisu and coffee, and our waiter looked like Anthony Bourdain. It was a great location to round out our Brussels experience. It was definitely a hip neighborhood attracting various kinds of people, from rowdy young teenagers to more reserved older adults.
We got back to the hotel and packed our bags to check out of the hotel the very next day — Anja would be heading to Germany, while I to London.