It appears that our Belgium trip is less about West to East, and more about small to large. We have traveled from Sleepy Bruges, to art filled Ghent, and now are in a surprisingly (surprising for me at least) large European city with underground transit - Brussels.
Brussels may not be the pretty girl at the party, but there is a lot behind that rather homely facade. To start, Brussels has the most impressive plaza I have seen in Europe in the Grand Plaza. There is also the impressively large Palace of Justice which our hosts have told us inspired Hitler to create his 3rd Reich (thanks big building!).
There are any number of beautiful things to see here, but honestly, I'm a bit touristed out! I think I have seen like 15 churches, all of which would be major attractions in the US.
Taking a break from the wandering awe, Jess and I went to two different pubs which were amazing. The first is the Mort Subite, an awesome bar with a cool 19th century interior. this is how a bar should look! The next was the Delirium Cafe, home bar of my new favorite beer. This place is huge and awesome, with over 2000 beers available. For those who may be interested, I was excited to try the Delirium Tremens on tap and found....I prefer it in a bottle. This is also the only time in Belgium that I was given a glass not officially recognized with the beer in question. This is a point of pride for most Belgian bars and restaurants, but I guess you can serve your own beer in a normal glass.
Jess and I also traveled to the large open market in Brussels near Clemenceau stop. This place was freaking great; everything you would ever want and cheap as it comes. As it was during the week, Jess and I were surrounded by Belgium's diverse population. We bought fruit, salad makings, some beautiful shrimp (only 8 Euro a kilo and smelled as fresh as I have ever had!), some smoked pork and Boudin Noir (blood sausage, and before you go euwew...it was delicious and I was not the only person to think so) to make dinner for our hosts. I cooked the shrimp with onion and garlic in some Leffe beer and it was amazing. I also introduced our hosts to the gourmand notion of sucking the broth out of the shrimp head as a fantastic way to get the best shrimp taste out of the dish.
All that's left is to see the music museum and maybe have a night out on the town with our hosts; then off to Africa!