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After my course at Hull University in UK I took European tour in 1992. I visited Belgium for the first time in 1992. Later I visited the country on several occasions. In 1992 I went to Belgium by Cosmos bus. In subsequent visits I travelled by prestigious Eurostar train from London to Brussels and back.  The train passes under the English channel. The railway line starting from London branches off at Lille junction in France, one goes to Brussels and the other goes to Paris. I arrived in Brussels or Bruxell on 6.4.92 and stayed at Guest Inn Hotel.

I got opportunity to visit Brussels several times in the late 1990s. I used to stay with my batch mate and friend Mahesh Sachdeva of IFS who was posted at the Indian Mission at Brussels. I extensively visited Brussels and its suburb.

Due to its strategic location, Brussels has several important international institutions. The headquarters of the European Union and NATO are located here. Its population was about 1.10 million. Its predominant languages are French and Dutch, due to which sometimes there is conflict for supremacy but it remains a calm place even from noise. In Brussels the names of streets and other institutions are compulsorily written in French and Dutch besides English.

There are several places to see in Brussels. There is a Square where flower festivals are organized, claimed to be biggest flower show. Then the Grand Palace is also worth seeing. The statue of Manneken-Pis can surprise you if you are standing near it. It is a bronze sculpture of a naked little boy urinating into a fountain basin. It is said that the statue is emblem of rebellious spirit of the city.

The Atomium is unique iconic structure of giant stainless steel depicting position of atom in respect of particle and matter.

Near the Atomium is located Mini Europe which displays perfect replicas of best monuments and sites Europe representing about 80 cities and 350 buildings. The creative work of grand imagination on display is to be seen to be believed.

Brussels has some super-speciality hospitals equipped with state of the art technology.

Belgium has substantial immigrant population from Morocco and Turkey. There are a few mosques also. Near the place where I was living with my friend there was a school where mostly Jewish children were studying. I found the police guarding the school at the time of arrival and departure of the students. I felt that these children should have lived in environment free from fear. But I also felt that the Israeli government policy of crushing the fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people is equally to be blamed. Even majority of Jewish people who do not believe in Zionism wants to liberate Palestine and live in peace and harmony. Such peace is not visible in the near future.

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