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Brussels, Belgium

A tour that smells of waffles and chocolate.

Accompanied by an endearing and special character who lives in an enchanted forest, we will get to know one of the most beautiful cities in all of Europe.

episode transcription

Before we start to travel, I want to remind you that this is a totally inclusive podcast, so everyone, including the visually impaired or people with hearing disabilities, can enjoy it on the digital platform of their choice.

Hi, nice to greet you. I’m Yael Yancelson and I’m very excited to be your guide and companion on this magical journey through the senses and imagination.


In this episode we meet a very special guide, it is nothing more and nothing less than Smurfette, yes, that little blue creature that lives in an enchanted forest, and you wonder why? Well, she and her entire village of Smurfs were born right here, in Belgium and she will take us on a tour of this beautiful place, so let’s go!!!!


Brussels has a very obvious cultural appeal, it is without a doubt a mosaic of languages ​​and cultures with a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene. This city has more than 80 museums, the Royal Palace and a rich history. When walking it is impossible to miss the Grand Palace, which was built as a marketplace for merchants in the 13th century. Located right in the center of the city, it hosts numerous festivals and concerts throughout the year. Not far from the square you can discover the small Manneken Pis (Eikstraat), a somewhat peculiar symbol of the city. The Town Hall tower will serve as your compass when exploring the charming alleys. Smurfette reminds us that we must try some delicious chocolates in the Sablon and then from the viewpoint of the Palace of Justice have one of the best views of the city. And let’s not forget to go up to the Atomium, which is today the most popular attraction in the Capital of Europe.


I see nothing but beautiful views!!! Wow I love it, can you appreciate it?


Did you know that since 1970, Belgium has been divided into three semi-independent regions? That’s right, Flanders, Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital region, each with its own government. The city has also become the de facto capital of the European Union and NATO, as it is a founding member.

I know that you like art as much as I do and I discovered that my favorite painter was born right here, René Magritte, so his museum is an unmissable destination, come on.


The Musée Magritte, open since 2009, is located on the Palace Royale in Brussels and is dedicated to the life, works and thoughts of the Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte (1898 – 1967). This exceptional museum houses a collection of the artist’s richest and most varied works.

Something that caught my attention because of the nature that you already know in this podcast is that the museum organizes guided tours adapted for deaf visitors and those with hearing or visual problems. Once a month, individual deaf visitors can join a guided tour with a guide for the deaf. The guided tour is always organized on the second Saturday of the month. Individual deaf visitors who prefer not to join a guided tour can borrow a touch screen at reception. In addition, an explanation will be given in Flemish, French and American sign language about many works in the museum. For a group visit with sign language make a reservation by writing an email to caroline.van.meerbeek@fine-arts-museum.be. 


In case you wear a hearing aid, you can also reserve the Guide-U system. This system with headset and microphone connects to the hearing aid. At the time of booking, ask if there is a possibility. Visitors with a visual limitation are encouraged to try the Equinox program. With illustrations, music, poetry, all kinds of objects, 3D scenes and audio description you will discover the wonderful world of Magritte. Isn’t that a wonderful thing?


We continue touring the rooms of this museum, look at my favorite and representative work of Rene Francois Ghislain Magritte, “The son of man”

It has been reproduced in all kinds of printed decoration such as posters and what I like is that it has a large number of elements and meanings, the main ones being the biblical story of the Adan’s apple and contemporary life in Europe at that time , the latest patent in the character’s attire.

And here we see The Lovers- This enigmatic work shows a couple of man and woman kissing, but without touching or seeing each other. Under this act, communication between the couple is really hindered by a barrier that does not allow them to feel, touch or see the other, besides speaking with difficulty and hearing little. The work reads “Ceci n’est pas une pipe”, which means “This is not a pipe.” This was the artist’s affirmation of this work, defending that it really was not, but rather the mere image of a pipe. This simple argument, which reinforces the division between reality and image, was used to justify a good part of his work, especially those more crazy and surreal paintings. It really is a delight to see his work, isn’t it? Can you appreciate the colors he uses?


And we go out to the beautiful streets and ¿do you smell?, tell me if the air is not impregnated with a delicious aroma of sweets and bread and we cannot leave here without trying the traditional street waffles, so I already got the recipe and we go quickly to my kitchen:


We are in a country that is especially rich in desserts, due to its coveted waffles, original and full of flavors and accessories, and its exquisite and high-quality chocolate. As for savory dishes, its cuisine is highly influenced by French cuisine. All kinds of meat stand out, which can sometimes be found stewed with Belgian beer, many varieties of cheese and potatoes as the main garnish to accompany them. But they say that Belgium is the country of chocolate and waffles. The last ones  have been a tradition in the country since the Middle Ages and today you can find them throughout the country, starring in street stalls, bars or restaurants. Its texture is crunchy on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inside and you can find as many varieties as there are Belgian cities you visit. Three stand out in particular: The Liège Waffles, richer, denser and sweeter. They are usually covered in cream, fruit, ice cream, or simpler ingredients like cinnamon or vanilla. Others are the Brussels waffles, larger in size but at the same time lighter. Finally, the Galettes Campinoises, a kind of rigid and crunchy waffle that becomes soft and buttery on contact with the mouth.

A true delight that we cannot refuse on this trip!

And speaking of chocolate, Belgian chocolate is one of the most coveted in the world and in this country you can find a wide variety of brands and large factories that produce for the most demanding countries. Specifically, they recommended us to go to Flanders or Wieze, to the chocolate museums and the largest chocolate factory in the world, which transforms around 270,000 tons of grains into chocolate every year. This chocolate stands out for its high cocoa content with high-quality grains. , which makes it healthier and more delicious, in addition to its creativity, design or its fine and elegant size. yummmmmm.


Well, as they say full belly, happy heart, we meet Smurfette again, our guide on this tour and she takes us to her exhibition at the Comic Museum. Carried out by an exceptional Art Nouveau house designed by Victor Horta, the Comics Art Museum is as much a tribute to the pioneers as it is a glimpse into contemporary comic art.

We go up to the first floor and I am immediately struck by the 100 portraits of the Smurfs, since they are all different, which are presented in a panel of more than 20 m2 and are suspended just above the permanent exhibition of its creator that It houses a large amount of little-known information and documents about this giant of comics, with very realistic reproductions, look how incredible and fun, let’s enter the Smurfs’ house

These little blue creatures, famous all over the world, were born in Brussels in 1958. Peyo (Pierre Culliford), their creator, was working at the time for Spirou magazine. The Smurfs’ Flute. It was love at first sight for readers, and the beginning of a new and successful series.

Let’s keep walking, there is so much beauty in Brussels! Can you appreciate the architecture? What do you think, tell me? Look at La Grand Place, did you know that

It was described by Victor Hugo as “”the most beautiful square in Europe”.” It is an impressive example of architecture from the 15th century (City Hall) and the 17th century (guild houses). It has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

And if design is your passion, you really shouldn’t miss the Horta Museum in St. Gilles, or the Flagey, an Art Deco building, once the headquarters of the national broadcasting corporation, and now an elegant cultural center and a trendy bar.

To make some shopping we go quickly with our imaginative power to

Rue Antoine Dansaert Straat and its surroundings to discover the heart of world fashion and design in Brussels, with the highest concentration of avant-garde designers and fashion boutiques as well as Avenue Louise and we say goodbye, not without first passing through the mecca of beer, beer mania that has more than 400 beers from the region

So much to see, in this beautiful corner of the world, I fell in love with this city, right? We will surely have another opportunity to return.

Well, this is how today we leave Brussels in Belgium, we will travel every week to another corner of this wonderful world, to know, enjoy and fly with the imagination, I wait for you and I ask you that, if you liked the content, share it with your friends and give me a like and a review of your comments because with that you help me a lot to raise the ranking of this podcast, ALTERNATIVE REALITY IS A UNIQUE AND DIFFERENT SPACE THAT CREATES COMMUNITY…. This space is born from a very personal need to connect with visually impaired and deaf people who teach us that you can enjoy these trips full of music, smells and taste in very different ways and that is why I like to think that together we make a difference. . I invite you to visit the ONCE Foundation for solidarity with blind people in Latin America/ and if you like to contribute, we will be very grateful, visit https://www.foal.es

Without fear of being wrong, I know that by helping others we mainly help ourselves.

Until next week and thanks for traveling with me.

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