After a good rest (train travel is so tiring!), we went out for a walk.
Our apartment is situated in Anderlecht, one of 19 communes (roughly equivalent to London boroughs) into which the Brussels Capital Region is divided.
This afternoon we covered only a tiny part of it, travelling “round the block”, albeit a fairly large “block”. This part of town is neither particularly interesting historically nor particularly beautiful but, so what? We were in Belgium, treading its streets and just enjoying being here.
As we walked over our first black-and-white-striped pedestrian crossing, I warned Tigger to take care, saying that motorists here don’t respect the crossings like they do in the UK. Events subsequently proved me wrong when several drivers, seeing us hovering on the kerb, stopped their vehicles to let us cross. There was one rogue, however, a female driver who, as I put foot to tarmac, hooted at me and swept on past.
The topography in Brussels is fairly flat making cycling popular. Dedicated cycle lanes are now a feature of the urban landscape. What took me by surprise, though, was to discover electric scooters for hire dotted all over the town, analogous to hire bicycles in London. I don’t recall seeing any such on our last visit.
In the UK, electric scooters are not legal on public roads or pavements, but here they seem to be. There are if course bicycles for hire also, including the electric variety now seen in Britain.
This is a view from the Pierre Marchant Bridge along the canal. I say “the” canal as I am not certain which one it is. I think it is the Brussels-Charleroi Canal.
This lady had a bag of bread and was feeding it to the ducks and coots. This seems to be an activity that knows no frontiers. People feed the birds all over the world.
Meanwhile, not far away, someone had left a heap of bread occasioning this scrum of pigeons. The fact that there was no fighting shows that there was plenty.
There were a couple of other dinner guests too. If you have sharp eyes you may be able to make out one if them in the above picture. Imagine the picture is a clock face and look at the position of the number 7. Do you see the brown rat, holding a piece of bread in his mouth hurrying off towards the left, just above the sole pigeon?
Rats are not everybody’s cup of tea and nor are pigeons, for that matter, but I like both and enjoy watching them. So there!
This very handsome building is an École Communale or Commune School. I don’t know whether it is primary or secondary but it is certainly a fine piece of architecture. We couldn’t see a date anywhere and our best guess is that it dates from the Belgian equivalent of the Victorian era.
We were attracted to this face smiling down at us from a house dated 1911.
This is just a random scan shot (“panorama” in iPhone terminology) at a crossroads. The temperature was about 24 deg C and we were looking around for a cafe where we could have a nice cool drink. (Yes, I know you Aussies would consider 24 positively chilly but we’re British dammit!)
Seeing this cafe called La Dame de Pique (the name means “Queen of Spades” and the décor reflected the theme), we hurried across and ordered Lipton Ice Tea, the real one, this time.
Our apartment was nearby and so we returned thither.
If the weather continues as it is today, I think this piece of furniture is going to prove to be a valuable asset!