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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Heart-stopping, Part twee

"FEET, don't fail me now."

If my feet could express themselves emotionally, they would be not be too pleased with the amount of walking Brussels demands.

"It's the world's second-smallest continent," I snark at their whines. "You can handle this."

Their reply is cold, unfeeling.

But, when in Europe, the best sights and sites will be found by foot. Cathedrals in their holy splendor, museums with all of history spread before you, bistros and shops from which to sample delicacies. All of these are best accessed with those beautiful tools with which the Maker equipped our legs. And so, our tour of Brussels continues à pied.

Along the way:

The icy-cold glowers of imposing edifices stare us into submission.

Along the way:

Time gets told on in the most European fashion.

Along the way:

Those that walked these hallowed streets before us, wish us godspeed.

Each city beckons us with feelings and auras unique to that place. These are the strings that move the marionettes we politely dub "tourists"; all notions of autonomy are illusory.

Of course, walking, talking, and gawking take on added dimensions when the rest of the world is revolving 'round you, caught in its daily tracks and spheres of influence. The language barrier is only isolating us further.

However, the city is pleasant; at one point, we pass a cathedral, and I swear I hear music being piped through its sound system. I am disillusioned when we pass a man on a street corner, making glorious music, solely with the aid of his vocal chords.

No artificial recordings need apply.

We eventually stumble across the main part of town. The electric current that pulses through any city's downtown region is shocking us gently; gradually the amp's get turned up, and we are on fire. Soon enough, we find ourselves drinking in every ounce of culture which permeates the streets. We imbibe the rich nectar of the clothing shops; we slowly absorb the beautiful language; we eat well.

When in Belgium, eat a waffle. I don't think they let you leave without one.

Seafood and chocolate; seafood and chocolate. These two sellers alternate, leaving a zebra-striped appearance to the city. But we don't mind the monotony.

Satiated, we walk on.

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