Once every two years a giant flower carpet is installed in the Grand Place (main square) of Brussels, which is 75m long x 24m wide, 1800 square metres of begonias containing around a million flowers. The carpet is sketched on the ground and quicky installed by 120 volunteers in only 4 hours! And then lasts about 3 days before it starts to wilt and is packed up again. I'd seen pictures of this on postcards on previous visits to Brussels, but I was fortunate that my work trip last September aligned with the correct weekend, and I found out with just a few days to spare. I quickly booked a funny little French speaking bed & breakfast on the outskirts of Brussels as it was quite far for a day trip, and went for a visit! This year the carpet was a giant Turkish rug design to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Turkish immigration in Belgium.
Upon arriving in Brussels I spent much of the day at the Musée Royal de l’Armée et d’Histoire Militaire (Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History), quite a large and interesting museum in the slightly old fashioned and slightly worn out style typical of Belgium that I like so much! Being the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI, there was also a large and excellent exhibition about the great war.
After the museum I went to check out the flower carpet, which was as impressive as I expected, although of course it was very densely touristed and difficult to approach! I waited patiently to get to the front of the barriers at a few spots around the carpet for some different angles, and was jealous of the people with inside connections and nice viewpoints out the windows of the old guild houses surrounding the Grand Place! I stayed in town late to also see the music and light show over the carpet.