We just spent 8 days in Brussels. We were in a really nice apartment, so we laid low for a number of days. But we did see some really cool stuff while we were there.
Mini-Europe is a giant exhibit of top sites in Europe – all built at 1/25 scale. Our photos in front of the mini-Eiffel Tower are *still* a preview of what is to come, but we have delayed our trip to France.
We will get a real photo here soon.
We had just left the Netherlands – and saw not a single wooden clog while we were there (except in tourist shops)
And of course – we took the opportunity to take annoying “tourist photos” I hearby promise not to take this photo in Italy.
After a few hours here, we went to the Atomium next door. It is a Body centered cubic crystal (built in 1958 to symbolise Belgium’s steel industry (iron has a BCC structure).
You can visit 4 of the spheres. The top one has a nice view from the windows.
The next day, we visited our next door neighbor, the Royal Belgium Museum of Natural History. They have a *HUGE* dinosaur collection, as a result of a large Belgian dig in the 1880s that found nearly 30 Iguanadons (most are displayed as bipedal, but current research suggests they walked on all four legs).
There is NO POSSIBLE WAY to show the scale of the dinosaur room. There had to be 30 full skeletons on display – stegosaurs, T-Rex, a dozen (or more) Igaunandons, a horn billed, velociraptor and a bunch of others. Also Pterodactyls (ok, not a dinosaur) hanging from the ceiling. And those were the big ones.. Probably another 15 little dinos underneath the big guys/gals. It was really incredible:
Underneath the Iguanandons, they have an exhibit of how they were discovered – 300 meters down in a mine. Here is a shot of that exhibit.
Of course, they also have a T-Rex, surrounded by smaller dinosaurs with similar bone structures – some of which had feathers… and the latest research on dinosaur-bird connections.
This gal looks fake – but it is a real skeleton. It was not a triceratops.. but a mososaur? (I think)
There were also incredible exhibits on human development (where you watch a movie on embryonic growth while rocking in hanging chairs shaped like uteri (which I suppose is the plural of uterus.)
They also had a number of stuffed animals in realistic poses. It was a neat exhibition.
The Ibex have an expression I have seen on our male goat, Alden.
We took a day or two off, and then returned to the Mini-europe/Atomium area to visit an indoor water park. Visiting an indoor water park, on a weekday, during the school year – is really the best time EVER to visit a water park.
We basically had the place to ourselves.. 4 huge slides, a wave pool. We had a kick of a time.
On Tuesday, we flew from Brussels to Dublin – landing just as storm Barney’s high winds nearly closed the airport in Dublin. We had a great night listening to Barney storm around our cozy townhouse. Today, we waited until the storm broke, walked along the water to the grocery store – got some food, and had lunch (gluten free fish n’chips) at a local shop.