22 Sept 2015


Once per year in September there is a car free Sunday organized in Brussels and it's municipalities. In total 136 m2. I hadn't been there last year so I went this Sunday ! I took the train from Waterloo to Brussels. The trains were new and had replaced the rattling antiques they still used last year. The timebable hadn't changed and there was only one train per hour ! Not very inspiring if you have to relay only on public transport.

Outside the Central Station I admired these huge flower pots, which I had never noticed, maybe due to the normally heavy traffic.

The boulevards were empty and it was nice to walk without fear to be ran over.

In the new pedestrian area people started to arrive and had breakfast

A little sport afterwards

Some entertainer

and empty streets !

I arrived at the Grand' Place. The sun was shining and it was quite warm !

For the "Folklorissimo" festival stalls had been put up around the place. There you could eat and drink Belgian food.  All guilds were represented.

Geant puppets waited to be carried around

A painter immortalised the Grand'Place

This man was part of the security service

A hand organ from Berlin

One man walked a Manneken Pis around and sprinkeled on the people  ! What a fun !

Waiter carried trays full with glasses over obstacles much to the fun of the watching people !

A young mother tried to knot her baby on her back

The police had a little smoking break

Three of the men on the picture below belong to the mustache guild

and some people walked around in middle age costumes and posed with the tourists. It was so nice sitting there and having fun with all the people around that when I left I realized that I had spent more than two hours sitting on a chair on the Grand'Place in the sunshine.

Around the Grand'Place was a flea market

The Belgian fries had a lot of success and there were long lines of people waiting to buy their sachet.

It really had been a very nice day and without any major incident. The King and Queen and their 4 children were in the city too with their bicycles and drove around. In  one of the tunnels in Brussels young people had organized a concert and danced to the music.

At 7 pm it was over, the pedestrians escaped to the side walks and the cars flooded the city ! 

more participants here


Andrew said...

One train every hour is ridiculous for a half hour trip from what is almost a suburb. No wonder people need cars. It looked like a great day out and so nice that it was sunny. I had to google Manneken Pis to check it wasn't what I thought it might have been.

Mara said...

I once worked on 'car-free' Sunday in Amsterdam. I had to drive a bus in and out of town and all the cars were stopped. I didn't see much of Amsterdam that day though. More's the shame, because I would have loved seeing it without motorized traffic (well, apart from buses and trams).

biebkriebels said...

So nice to see a city without cars. This is how it always should be, a city for the people.But that is wishfull thinking I am afraid.

NCSue said...

Car free sounds wonderful.
Hope you'll link up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/09/steam-powered-whatchamacallits.html

Gracie said...

Don't know if it was a european thing but it was sunday without cars in my town too, and there was the annual medieval palio too...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Gattina - so much can be done if there's no traffic - though getting things set up must have been a puzzle without the transport. Mannekin Pis - are fun .. much laughter around.

Looks to have been a good day and Sunday was warm ... cheers Hilary

Loree said...

It looks like it was a super fun day in Brussels with perfect weather too. I wish I could have tried some of those Belgian fries.

TheChieftess said...

Wow!!! What a concept!!! Los Angelinos wouldn't know what to do!!!

Unknown said...

I love the photos from the Grand Plaza. It's a gorgeous place. People watching is a lot of fun.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful shots and just lovely to be car-free!