October 23, 2009

I need to catch-up...

...which reminds me of "ketchup." Which reminds me of fries. Which reminds me of Belgium.

So where was I...right...I left you with a piss boy teaser in my last post from a lifetime (in blog time, anyway) ago. Sorry about that...I've been burning the candle at both ends, burning the midnight oil, etc. (insert your favorite burning idiom here).

Anyhoo...



Manneken Pis, or more colloquially (and crassly) The Piss Boy, is a huge part of Brussels. Ironic, really, because…(pun alert) he’s rather wee. There are many stories as to who this Manneken Pis was – the stories run the gamut from it being the infant Duke Godfrey III of Leuven to being a young child who helped stop the king’s castle from burning down by using his, er, hose? Yikes. Having seen the sense of humor of the locals I’m going to say it’s all likely rubbish and the legends will remain larger than the little statue propped high up on a street corner.

One thing is for sure, the tourists love Manneken Pis. Just look at all of us:


And he’s everywhere. Shelves at all the tchotchke shops are lined with him:

Even my chocolate bar (that, incidentally, I bought to make Marylin’s scones) has his likeness on it:

And quite frankly, that’s a little gross.

Just a bit up the street from our young urinating friend lies another famous statue, that of Everard 't Serclaes whose own claim to fame is his taking of the city back from the Flemish.


The legend is that he brings luck to all who touch him. Some can be found going in for a quick swipe, hoping not to be caught:



While others sort of man-handle the poor guy:



I don’t know what the redhead above was wishing for but judging by the zest with which she groped him, she is now engaged and/or pregnant and/or rich.

Turning the corner from Mr. Serclaes was one of the most beautiful town squares I have ever seen, The Grote Markt (Grand Place). And, wow, is it grand. In my humble opinion it’s worth the hour train ride from Paris alone...








That was one sweet trip. And I do mean sweet:





Get thee to Brussels! But if you’re American you may want to wait until the dollar is worth more than a ball of lint. Just sayin’.

More Brussels? Visit my most excellent travel companion Jean. Bonus: See me out cold and practically drooling on the train ride from Paris.

19 comments:

Sue said...

You mean Belgium is only an hours train ride from Paris and me and daughter missed out on it? It would have been worth the train ride just to grope that statue...Hey I'm old I have to get my kicks wherever I can find them....and I already saw the drooling picture of you....still cute. Hey, go check out the blog and see what I stumbled upon at the Visiting Nurse sale....had no idea what they were just knew they were old....They were jammed into the fill a bag for $10 so I probably paid about 50 cents a piece for them.....turns out they are French Majolica from the early 1900's.....asparagus dishes....on E-Bay $165. each.....I bet you'll be over at those fairgrounds before they open next time!! I'm still shocked that nobody had grabbed them up before Sunday..

modernemama said...

And Jeanneke Pis? Don't tell me you missed out on the female version? And the hanging puppets in the Roy d'Espagne on the Grand'Place?

The Quintessential Magpie said...

That looks like a fabulous trip, Laura! I can't get over that town square. AMAZING.

XO,

Sheila

stacilynfeldman said...

you make me miss europe - no fair!

Joyce said...

Nice photos. My love saw this little boy fountain years ago and wanted to buy it- I have been looking for one to surprise him. LOL... Miss you! Have a golden weekend. xoox

Purple Flowers said...

Your photos are beautiful. There's something about some of those photos in the town square. It's as if I was there before, but I haven't been. Maybe it's my imagination. Thank you for sharing!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Goreous photos Laura! It was like looking at a fairy tale come true...not sure what role the pissing boy has in that tale, but he's cute, and the dead man who's a lucky rub, well he's a whole other story! LOL

black eyed susans kitchen said...

There were more people gazing at the undressed statue than there were looking at the Mona Lisa when I was at the Louvre...what is up with that?? So happy that you had a good time...can't wait to hear more about the trip.
♥, Susan

FrenchGardenHouse said...

sigh. Thanks for the wonderful post...I love Brussels. Manneke Pis even. the Grote Markt. {fleamarket!} Chocolates. THE best are from Belgium. really. I just wish that dollar WOULD grow just a tiny bit. okay lots.

Gabriela said...

Hello,

Love your photos and I heard about the Pis Boy before.



~ Gabriela ~

Tina said...

Ok, I'm an archetecture nut and you have provided so much eye candy for me and I gotta tell you, I don't get piss boy. that's funny!
Love all the pics and your writings
T

Renovation Therapy said...

I want more beer & chocolate...

Mrs. Limestone said...

Looks like a great trip - thanks for sharing.

We might be going to Belgium next year. Where did you stay? What did you eat? What do you suggest we do?

Maureen said...

You need to publish a travel book - seriously. I want to save this post so I can read it before I ever visit Belgium. That is when the dollar is worth more than lint - love that!

j.cro said...

Do they call Belgian Waffles Belgian Waffles in Belgium? or do the just call them Waffles?

I wonder.

Lovely post and your photos are great!!!

Maya@Completely Coastal said...

I have to say I'm impressed by the Grand Place! And by the Belgian Waffles!! Oh, so yummy. The boy..., not so much, but fun.

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

AMAZING! I LOVE that I felt as if I was there. Thank you.

Marilyn said...

Je t'aime this post. Such a gorgeous trip and so beautifully documented by you! Bet you're a swell traveling companion. Anyone who shoots that many photos/buys chocolate is a-okay with me. And the scones?

Nouveau Stitch said...

Looks like we were in Paris at the same time! We didn't make Belguim this trip but I do have fond(le) memories of that little pisser! I was lucky enough to have my best friend living there so I got the real, in your face, tour of Brussels. Loved it!

Thanks for stopping by Nouveau Stitch!

Hope to see you back soon...Ellen