I love nothing more than uncovering the weird and wonderful side of a destination – one that will never appear on a postcard or be featured in a Lonely Planet guidebook.
Recommended reading: Learn about all the things that Belgium is famous for and be prepared to learn some surprising things!
1) The Cat On A Bike Sculpture – Just outside of Galeries Royales St Hubert is this sexy cat, dressed in spandex shorts and a hot pink crop-top who happens to be riding a bike! This work of art created by Alain Séchas cost the city of Brussels approximately 100,000 euros. The feline is also quite popular with tourists who stop for cheesy photo opportunities.
2) The Peeing Boy Obsession – Brussels is infamous for their peeing boy statue, the Manneken Pis. Strange but true, this tourist attraction brings people from all around the world. Funnier yet is that he’s dressed up in different costumes throughout the year and sometimes even hooked up to a keg so that he pees … beer.
So how far can you take the joke with the peeing boy? At Zaabär chocolate factory, you might feel tempted to take a bite out of the life sized chocolate reproduction of the Manneken Pis.
The creators of this poster really went out of their way to make something they felt funny but failed entirely when it came to formatting their speech bubble and text.
Did you know that there is also a statue of a peeing girl (the Jeanneke Pis) and even a peeing dog (the Zinneke Pis)? Check out this post on Ali’s Adventures where Ali and her husband Andy went on a fun mission to seek out the peeing statues of Brussels.
3) The Smurfs – “Are we there yet, Papa Smurf?” I grew up with the Smurfs watching their cartoon religiously every Saturday morning and even dressing up as Smurfette for Halloween (two years in a row).
Did you know that the Smurfs were a Belgian creation? What started as a comic, became a cartoon and eventually a successful franchise.
It turns out that if a peeing boy can be turned into chocolate so can a smurf as seen here at a Neuhaus chocolate shop.
4) Unfashionable Purses – I spied this daisy covered purse in a window display at an upscale womenswear store. I now wish I’d gone inside to inquire about the price as I’m sure it wasn’t cheap! It’d be hilarious to learn if the shop managed to sell any of these and how many euros it cost.
Perhaps it was simply being featured as a kitsch item in celebration of the floral carpet event?
5) Fierce Looking Statues – This 17th century statue of a knife wielding butcher comes complete with pig carcasses and hangs off of one the buildings surrounding Brussels’ Grand Place, a square known for it’s eclectic architecture.
6) Tents for Record Labels – I first took this picture as it was pretty funny, not to mention random, to see a tent hanging a banner that says “Fuck a Duck.” Turns out that Fuck a Duck is a local record label with an old My Space page.
7) The Clash of Old Meets New or Pretty Meets Ugly – At the Royal Palace of Belgium, you see this historical and beautiful building and then rest outside on these gaudy brightly coloured circular shaped benches surrounded by dead plants.
8) A Chandelier and a Ceiling Made from Beetles – So the round benches and dead plants may not be all that weird, just plain ugly, but this chandelier and ceiling featured in the Royal Palace made from beetles is totally weird.
Known as Heaven of Delight, this unique artwork was completed by Jan Fabre a guy who not only likes to smoke (see his web site) but experiment with mediums such as blood, sperm and insects. Jewel beetles from Thailand were used in this particular instance which took 30 people and 4 months to glue all the insect shells to the ceiling.
9) Quirky But Cool Cafes – You know that I’m a sucker for a cool cafe and fortunately Brussels is full of them. Take for instance the touristy Arcadi Café where bills of cash adorn the wall. It’s also rumoured to have the best cakes and quiche in the city!
Note to self – do not throw my cigarette butts on the streets of Brussels or I could be featured as the face for one of their future poster campaigns.
Lastly, it’s fun to act weird when you’re in such a weird place like Belgium so here’s me “pretending” to drink beer from yet another odd window display!
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