I arrived in Brussels 3 hrs later than expected. This meant I had to can the idea of going to Bruges (next time, I promise), and stick around the big city. I was lucky to run into an ERDC colleague who had some ideas of what to see and do.
The Atomium is a monument in Brussels, originally built for Expo '58, the 1958 Brussels World's Fair. Designed by André Waterkeyn, it stands 102-metres (335 ft) tall. It has nine steel spheres connected so that the whole forms the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times.Tubes connect the spheres along the 12 edges of the cube and all eight vertices to the centre. They enclose escalators connecting the spheres containing exhibit halls and other public spaces. The top sphere provides a panoramic view of Brussels. Each sphere is 18 metres in diameter. Three spheres are currently (2008) closed to visitors, others can be reached easily by escalators. The vertical vertex contains a lift which was very fast and advanced at the time of building (the speed is 5 m/s).
2) Belgian restaurant, complete with Belgian beer, a menu we could not muddle through without help (roast chicken goes by waterzooi over here) and dessert was, in a word, delicious. Chocolate crepes.