It turns out that a weekend in Belgium for someone who has lived nearly a year in the Netherlands is a rather disturbing experience because nearly everything is the same but not quite right. The architectural style is similar but with more stonework and modern buildings thrown in, a lot of history focuses on the Golden Age but more with regards to Antwerp than Amsterdam, and while they also eat their frites with mayonnaise here they unquestionably taste better. Add in the creeping influence of the French the further south you go, and… yep, Bizarro Netherlands.
Anyway, recently I went to Brussels, and I was further surprised to discover that Brussels is actually quite nice. I was not expecting this at all- it’s usually described as a boring place, and looked like a giant sprawl from the train whenever I’ve traveled through there, but it turns out if you know where to look amidst the office buildings there are still true gems of lovely old architecture-