I love wandering the streets mapless when arriving in a big urban city. Brussels, the capital of Belgium, was extra fun to do this in. Colorful murals & street art cover gorgeous art nouveau architecture, and it was a fun lil’ adventure trying to find all of the comic inspired walls.
I absolutely fell in love with Belgium while backpacking there. The pop art in Brussels was just a colorful & cheerful bonus to this already magical country. I mean look at this pic from The Grand Place square. What’s not to love?
Famous comics were born in Belgium and you see them pop up on much of the street art throughout Brussels. Tintin, The Smurfs [I always got to pretend to be Smurfette when playing Smurfs with my cousins], Asterisks and a long list of others all originated here. They even have a museum dedicated to comics.
While traveling, I often find ways to reach new levels of embarrassment. And Belgium was no different. Here are some pretty shots of pop art in Brussels with, hopefully, some entertaining accidental travel tips provided by yours truly.
Travel Tip #1: Stop looking up!
With all of the amazing architecture everywhere you end up looking up a lot and not at the uneven ground below. Well, I somehow managed to completely trip over this post that had been cut down to just a stub. Typical.
No biggie except that it was in front of an entire tour group on a pop art walking tour in Brussels [for more history on the comics you can take a tour] as well as multiple elderly couples who cannot walk well and were managing much better than I was. They ALL asked if I was ok in Dutch and French. So sweet of them.
Travel Tip # 2: We all know this one…check for toilet paper BEFORE using the bathroom!
So I did!! But there was none.
I looked for the girl server that was helping me because she spoke some English but only the hottie male bartender was there. He, of course, didn’t speak any English. So, I had to try to describe toilet paper to him in sign language style. He finally understood and went in the back of the restaurant to get some.
He then walked through the ENTIRE restaurant with practically a lifetime supply of TP and handed me a couple of rolls. So embarrassing. THEN I couldn’t figure out how to flush the toilet so I ended up being in there for at least 15 minutes which just made the entire thing even more memorable. Le sigh.
Travel Tip # 3: I don’t really know the lesson learned on this traumatic experience but here is what happened…
While staying in a lovely Belgian’s flat [Airbnb is the way to go!] I locked my door. Normal. Habit.
Well, I got home late one night…locked the door and went to bed. I got up to go to breakfast upstairs [and use the restroom because there wasn’t one in my room] and the lock wouldn’t unlock! I continued trying. Oh my gosh, I tried for like 30 minutes and was about to pee my pants and didn’t know what to do!!
I had no phone to call my flat mates, and I tried knocking on my own door but it was a 4 level loft and they were levels above me. So, I emailed them because I didn’t know what else to do. I titled it ‘Please Help’ so they would read it right away.
SUBJECT: PLEASE HELP!
Finally, someone was headed downstairs so I yelled and banged on my door and they heard me but sadly, I FREAKED them out with my noise! They thought I had been injured or something. Long story short, I passed them the key through the side balcony window and OF COURSE the door opened for them no problem. We laughed soooooo much!!!!! I felt so ridiculous.
Then, during breakfast…they checked their emails [I forgot I had sent one] and they couldn’t stop laughing at ‘Please Help’ hahaha. Thankfully, we stayed in touch and still laugh about it today. Amy = The silly American girl who cannot open a door. Sigh. This is part of the Airbnb review they left me:
“Amy is such a lovely young lady…Guests like her make the whole AirBnB experience so interesting” 🙂
Stay tuned for more travel tips I am CERTAIN there will be many more embarrassing Amy moments to share with you on future adventures. I would love to read about any of yours…pretty please let me know in the comment section below 😉
Shop Amy’s Belgium Inspired Favs Here: