For a capital city of 1.1 million people (certainly small by Chinese standards, where even "third-tier" cities often have populations of several million), Brussels punches above its weight: not only is it the capital of the Kingdom of Belgium and the seat of the Flemish Community, the bilingual city (Flemish and French) is also the de facto capital of the European Union and the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Nevertheless, even though it's only a short train ride from Leuven, seeing Brussels was low on our sightseeing list. Still, it couldn't be avoided completely, so our host Jeff took us on a day trip to point out some of the sights of the capital city.
Time for a break at a nearby cafe. Coffee, no beer, a problem that would soon be rectified:
We passed by the European Union Parliament Building...:
If you weren't already aware of the fact, Belgium is the home of Tintin:
A last look at the 15th-century city hall towering over the Grand Place: