Exploring Belgium: Waterloo and Brussels's Atomium
Waterloo is a neat, short adventure on the outskirts of Brussels, Belgium where Napoleon lead his French army into defeat against the Anglo-allied army and the Prussian army. It costs about 7£ to enter the small panorama museum which gives you a nice history lesson and viewpoint about the different battles, regions and other background about Waterloo. After gathering some history about this historic monument we gathered ourselves to climb the 220 something stairs to the top. I do advise you stretch your legs before sending it up these stairs I found my legs rather fatigued from walking miles and miles throughout our first few days in Brussels, Belgium. We prefer our feet as our main mode of transportation so it's important to protect your body before any exercise although it might look strange step aside and stretch for a second but your legs will thank you.
The views at the top of the Waterloo lion statue are hard to beat - be sure to snap a few panoramic images of Belgium's beautiful countryside. After capturing some images at the top we started down the stairs where I was able to snap a few more beautiful photos. Waterloo is simple, I wouldn't spend an entire day here maybe just an afternoon or morning hike up then plan to maybe check out the Atomium as well. Read our quick review of the Atomium below...
Belgiums Atomium is a symbol of the future of a peaceful and united Belgian nation - the design of this building is unique as it looks like an atom from afar each sphere hosting a different exhibits to explore - this structure was built in 1958 for the Brussels World Fair. The top sphere of the atomium hosts one of the best views in all Belgium a 360 degree panoramic view of the entire city. There is a restaurant at the top but we decide against eating up there as the prices were out of budget for us. The elevator inside the Atomium is impressive with a window peeking up as you shoot to the top (I'll post a video soon). After catching the views at the top we ventured down to see what the other spheres had to offer. Our impression of the exhibits was rather weak to be honest I thought they would have rotating art exhibits or something a bit more exciting. Instead there's cases full of design sketches of the atomium and history about the people involved in the creation of this center piece of Belgium (historic and interesting info. for some visitors). One of the spheres had a brilliant light and sound display which was rather neat - they've combined a number of panoramic panels, intelligent lights and sound for an interactive movie this stood out in my mind.
Total time spent exploring the Atomium about an hour and then we grabbed a light snacks from the cafe at the base of the structure. The atomium is rather disconnected from central Brussels a can ride back to town would cost about 25€ so we instead tried our luck with the metro.
The metro is great (2 euro) as long as you know where your going - here's a travel tip - while exploring your first few days in and around your new Air BnB neighborhood instead of only taking touristy photographs grab some images of these things:
1. The closest metro stop to your home base (the French names will throw you off so taking a phone photo is the best)
2. Remember that: Centree / Centrum / center usually means the center of the city - almost always will connect you to more cabs and other options - when in doubt head to the city center.
3. Locate a landmark or park you can see from miles away to help you gather your bearings whenever you become lost or turned around - Jubel Park is how we found our way home many times, we would walk towards the main arch and always got back safely
We recommend doing some research of your own before seeing these spots in Belgium to decide if it's worth the travel time - these locations are famous and noteworthy for historic reasons. ~MYT