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Brussels,

Belgium

 

Including the Military Museum and Autoworld

2001

 

 

The Arch at Cinqauntenaire Park  (150 years)

 

 

 

The Grand-Place is the large town square in the center of Brussels.

Each spring, almost a million begonias decorate the square in a large “carpet”.

 

 

 

The Grand-Place.  There are several cafes around the square to enjoy a

Belgian beer or a fine meal.

 

 

Another ornate building on the Grand Place.

 

 

Walking the narrow streets of the Brussels market area.

 

 

There are lots of seafood restaurants in the market area.

Many tempt the passers-by with elaborate displays.

 

 

 

A close-up of the previous restaurant’s seafood display.

Shellfish are very popular here!

 

 

 

Another seafood restaurant.

 

 

 

I found this restaurant on my first trip to Brussels.

A friend from the band joined me for some seafood (expensive!!).

 

 

When we went back to Brussels, Spencer decided to enjoy some of the famous

seafood cuisine. He even ate a snail -- and liked it!!

 

 

 

One of the most famous landmarks in Brussels is the Manneken Pis.

This replica (the original from 1619 was stolen) of a small boy doing what small boys often do was to be removed by the civil authorities, but tourists and residents strongly objected.

Here, a group of Asian tourists pose for a picture with the famous boy.

 

 

The Manneken Pis.

The popular theory behind the statue is that it is Belgium’s way of showing displeasure

with the rest of the world by peeing on it.

 

 

 

There are over 500 ceremonial costumes the Manneken Pis wears on different occasions.

There is even a Santa Suit for Christmas! Here, he is adorned with the suit of a

Brussels municipal street cleaner.

 

 

 

 

St. Michael’s Cathedral in downtown Brussels.

 

 

A side entrance to St. Michael’s Cathedral.

 

 

 

Inside the sanctuary of St. Michael’s Cathedral.

 

 

A stained glass window at St. Michael’s Cathedral.

 

 

 

Just walking along the sidestreets of Brussels.

 

 

 

Brussels apartments on our walk out to the Cinquantinaire Park and the

Military Museum and Autoworld.

 

 

Another view of the Cinquantinaire Arch.

 

 

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Brussels Autoworld Museum

and

Brussels Military Museum

 

 

 

To the right of the Cinquantinaire Arch is the Autoworld Museum.

 

 

 

Inside is a collection of cars and motorcycles from European and around the world.

 

 

 

Another view of the inside of Autoworld.

 

 

 

1906 Fondu – A Russian design.

 

 

 

1910 Minerva. This car belonged to the Belgian Court in the days of King Arthur.

 

 

 

1930 FN.  The body coachwork consists of hand-carved wood and hand-formed aluminum.

This car was made at the request of the Shah of Persia.

 

 

1952 Bugatti Type 57.

 

 

A rear-quarter view of the 1952 Bugatti Type 57.  Quite stylish for a ’57, eh?

Volkswagen now owns the Bugatti name, and is coming out with a new model with

a V-16 engine for about $400,000.

 

 

 

OK, can you name this car by looking at its trademark tailfin?

 

 

Yes, it’s a 1959 Cadillac El Dorado.

 

 

No airbags here, just lots and lots of steel and chrome up front to protect you.

1959 Cadillac El Dorado.

 

 

One of the first Yuppie cars?  You’ll understand when you see the next picture.

Note the steering wheel that folds out along with the door!

Can you imagine a head-on collision with the ’59 Cadillac in the previous pictures?!

 

 

 

(From the previous picture)  Does the emblem look familiar?

It’s a 1962 BWM Isetta.  Powered by a 298cc engine (that’s about 1/5 the size of the engine in a

Toyota Tercel), and built under license from the Italian Iso design.  It was very popular.

 

 

 

In addition to cars, the museum also has quite a collection of old hubcaps.

Everything here from Rolls Royce to Fiats.

 

 

 

Here’s an interesting car. It’s a 1952 Messerschmitt 3-wheeler.  As you may remember ,

Messerschmitt was a manufacturer of German fighter planes in WW II.

After the war, the company reverted to making cars. The passenger sat behind the driver in an

airplane-style seating arrangement, and with an airplane style canopy overhead.

It was powered by a small air-cooled engine in the rear.

 

 

A front view of the 1952 Messerschmitt.

 

 

 

And now, let’s move across the street to the Military Museum.

 

 

 

 

The Brussels Military Museum features a large hangar with a variety of aircraft.

 

 

A German WW I fighter plane.

 

 

A WW I Sopwith Camel.

 

 

This radial engine on an early plane was very well restored.

 

 

The MiG-15 was Russia’s first successful jet fighter.  It was matched against the famous F-86 Sabre from the USA in the Korean War in the world’s first jet-to-jet dogfighting. (Actually, the F-80 Shooting Star was the first, but was soon replaced by the popular F-86.)  The American Sabre was clearly the winner, with 14 MiGs shot down for every Sabre lost in battle.  Top speed was 1,100 km/hr (about 675 mph).

 

 

10 years later (1958 – a very good year!), the Russians were flying their new MiG-21 “Fishbed” fighter.

Top speed had improved to Mach 2.1 (about 1500 mph).

 

 

 

By 1975, the Russians were flying the MiG 23 “Flogger”.  At least the nickname sounds more intimidating than the previous plane (“Fishbed”).  Top speed was Mach 2.5, about 1700 mph)

 

 

 

A close-up view of some of the MiG 23 weapons.

 

 

In addition to the military aircraft, there is also a collection of homemade airplanes.

 

 

In addition to the airplanes, the Military Museum features uniforms, weapons, and

other stuff from military history.

 

 

They even had a display of military band uniforms and instruments.

 

 

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Once we finished our sightseeing of Brussels, we headed back to the hotel.

In the field outside our window was a herd of deer and several chickens.

 

 

Hope you enjoyed Brussels!

 

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