I tend to have a question in my head the moment I wake up. It varies from “What to eat” to “What the heck did I do last night?”. This morning, Leeds popped up without notice. Maybe because, this new old city has a certain charm that I find peculiar – much like Haarlem, Bingen and Ludlow. Those little place, there’s just something about it.
It was our third city for that Euro trip we went. Frankfurt and Amsterdam were the first two (by now you’d prolly figured that I’m not writing chronologically). While I like things to be in somewhat order, feelings dictate otherwise.
This was quite a bit of journey, one that didn’t sunk in until we were moving about. From Amsterdam, we went to Brussel Zuid. At first I thought this was the station I had stopped 7 years ago when I went to Brussels but it turns out they switched the transit station and I was slightly surprised to see the other side of Brussels.
Zuid in Dutch means South (or Midi in French) and it’s probably like the ‘hood side to the colourful and chocolate-laden city of Brussels. It was also my first time encountering a beggar on the street who were very persistent (didn’t help that she was sitting in a wheel chair along the main station). It’s relatively gloomy on this side, somewhat grungy too in terms of character and mood.
And here I got Syiks all excited to check out Brussels for 2.5 hours during our transit. Well, she was disappointed it wasn’t the Brussels we were all accustomed to. Nonetheless, we walked around anyway. I mean, considering we have so much time before departing for Kings Cross St. Pancras..might as well eh?
Nothing was opened at 9ish morning, that and I think this area isn’t really the place for tourists anyway. But I guess, in years to come, this place would look better since Brussels Zuid is the biggest train station in Belgium, considering everyone transits here.
When we walked out, no map what so ever, just..simply walk – I spotted this
Tintin acted as my beacon to navigate through this unknown place we wandered. If you’re out here, you won’t miss out on Le Lombard‘s iconic sign up the building. What is it you might asked? This is THE comic publisher for Tin Tin 🙂 You’ll definitely find Tin Tin all over the city, especially in Brussel Centraal but this was the one thing that stuck in my mind. Who would’ve thought, being here in a place you don’t know and you find a piece of Belgium’s history. Oh that kid in me jumped for joy over this discovery!
Like most places that shares the same character as Brussel Zuid, you’ll find the heart in your face. Centraal is filled with beautiful art splattered everywhere. Some commissioned art but a place like this, the raw talent is released tenfolds without restriction. It’s there because there’s a story they want to tell. That’s a quality I find more expensive, one you can’t just buy anywhere. The colours very much jives with the other murals I’ve seen along the way. Unsure if it were by the same people but I suppose it’s the colours that represents them.
I don’t know how I spotted these since it was high above but I’m glad I did, just enough to know that you can find beauty in any place, any nooks and crannies. It doesn’t matter how established or developed the place is, there’s always something unique. And this is Brussel Zuid’s.
You don’t see Cubism painted on walls for public to see but this is what that is. Brussel Zuid is their public gallery for their artworks.
While I initially started off to write about Leeds, there’s something about Brussel Zuid that’s pulling me to dive in further. And I like how this has turned out to be. The unassuming places, those places you pass by not knowing that there’s a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.
So what’s the moral of the story?
Even when you think a place does not fit in your world as you expected, take a chance and get to know this new place. Make the most of what you have and rock it out!
Thank you Brussel Zuid, for at first I thought it wasn’t much of transit trip but hey, looks like I actually did see some things I didn’t get to all this while. Kudos!