In Brussels, the weather has been depressing to say the least in the past…oh let’s say 3 weeks give, but not take. You don’t realise how grey your mood becomes until you see sunlight again and feel it’s warm on your skin. On Sunday, we had the first day of sun I can remember since maybe April. So of course, what is a girl to do except grab a great book and lounge in the sun.
Whether you’re a tourist or a resident and you’re looking for some relaxation, Bois de la Cambre (and for those less frenchly inclined: for Cambre Forest) is relaxing enough with its central pond, island with restaurant included. It’s not the quietest park in Brussels, as on weekends one can have difficulty find a place on the grass if they arrive in the mid to late afternoon. But it is a great place the stretch on a blanket, have a picnic and people watch. The normal weekend crowd includes a group playing soccer, some couples throwing a Frisbee, families, people walking their dog, people rollerblading, kids riding their bikes and joggers. Don’t be surprised if you see women in bikinis because apparently this is acceptable public behavior at a park in Brussels.
There is always a waffle/ice cream truck or two so there are snacks readily available. You can also hop on the little ferry that takes passengers across the pond to the island where there is an inviting log cabin or chalet (if your more frenchly inclined). There is a restaurant in the chalet, but for some reason I’ve never been motivated enough to check it out. I get an ice cream from the truck instead. Classy I know.
Besides the large crowds on weekends, the only other disadvantage is the lack of bathrooms (or toilettes if you will). Not even an “outhouse” as we Canadians call them. One afternoon I had to go so bad that I walked the 23 minutes up the hill to a place where there is another restaurant and also a horse/pony riding ring for children. Then I walked the 23 minutes all the way back to the park. There are also not many trash cans. So if you’re going to Bois de la Cambre, its best if you’re only going for a few hours or if you bring a bike or rollerblades.
Oh and P.S. its legal to drink beer (alcohol) in the park in Belgium. Just a side note.
Where do you like to go on sunny days? To the beach, the park, your backyard? Or do you hide in the air conditioning?