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).
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.