After a short train ride to Brussels, we all immediately fell in love with this city. None of us came in with any expectations, however I think it was most of our favorite. In contrast to Paris, we only had one day that was not a free day, where we toured the Opera House. This left so much time for exploring the city, activities like chocolate making and shopping, and a much more leisurely itinerary in general.
Focusing on the Opera House tour, this again was completely unexpected. The outside is much more unassuming in contrast to the Paris Opera, however the inside is just as gorgeous. When we first walked in, there was a nice modern flare on the ceiling, with abstract colorful paint splatters on a solid white interior. We then were able to step into the actual theater itself, the interior was extremely like the Paris Opera. There were a lot of warmer tones and gold fixtures; the theater felt very regal. There was a gorgeous mural on the ceiling, as well as a beautiful chandelier. The Brussels Opera house only housed a few hundred less than the Paris Opera, which I enjoyed because the view from each seat were better than the view from certain seats in Paris.
Later on our tour, we learned that the Belgian revolution was actually sparked by an Opera at this very Opera house. The crowd was watching a progressive Opera, began to feel empowered, and stormed the city. The significance this venue hold is huge, however it is something I would have never learned if I hadn’t been told.
We also got a chance to tour some ‘behind the scenes’ areas, including the costume and set shops. In the costume shop, we learned about what goes into making the costumes for these operas, especially how much work goes into a fitting a large cast of people. In the set shop, we got to watch crew build scenery for an upcoming Opera, which was really neat.
Aside from the opera house tour, I enjoyed being the “Lindor Truffle Man” for a day while making chocolates, as well as eating manyyyy waffles. Brussels was one of my favorite cities I have ever been too. I loved how there was an urban feel while also being able to walk five minutes to more quaint buildings and cobblestone roads. The food here was diverse. I got to enjoy anything from some really good Ramen, to Italian, to sushi.
I have absolutely no complaints about Brussels! I felt much more relaxed than I did in Paris. It would have been perfect if my phone didn’t break!