• Belgium
  • Good Sunday In Brussels Back In The Days

    Tiina Kivelä Brussels

    The other day, I came to think of my life in Brussels (yes, I have lived in there too) and what I would do did there almost every Sunday. Because it was kind of a lovely tradition for a slow Sunday, especially in spring and summer, on sunny warm days when you could wander in the sunshine and enjoy your Ethiopian coffee in the patio…

    (But first, lets take a note how on on Saturday I would have taken the train to Ghent/Gent – one of my favourite smaller towns in Europe. )

    Regularly, my Sunday in Brussels started running in some of the way too rare green areas in Brussels. Or sleeping in for the slight hangover from the day before (those strong Belgian beers, – careful over there).

    Then, it was time for Belgian fries for lunch. In Place Jourdan. After which – if it wasn’t too late already (might have been that this and the running substituted each other – I would wander to the Sunday market in Place du Jeu de Balle, and the second hand shops nearby (most of my current 2 handbags come from there). And most importantly, every Sunday I was after the Ethiopian coffee by Aksum Coffee House, which since then has moved into three locations (one in Grand Place, one Galerie du Loi and one in De Brouckère).

    Serving Ethiopian coffee– one one the best if not even the best coffee I have ever been drinking – and simple yet delicious sweets.

    Then, when it was time to wander home, I would keep an eye on the comics on the walls and maybe, if thirsty, enjoy one more small beer of the week.

    Tiina Kivelä Aksum Brussels


    Tiina Kivelä


    Tiina Kivelä



    I don’t know which Sunday markets in Brussels are the best now, if there even is any. Nevertheless, if you are around, go get the fries from Place du Jourdan and coffee from Aksum. They’re still up and running.

    You’ll not be disappointed.

    (And yes the featured pic has that ugly covering fence in purpose. Because it’s Brussels, always something going on and always a bit messed up, a bit unstructured, a bit chaotic. The kind of thing which makes you think was it bad already before EU or was it the EU. Looking at the Brexit mess, I would be quite sure it’s the former though.)

    Where: Brussels, Belgium (more of my Brussels tips in here)

  • Belgium
  • Brussels In My Thoughts

    Tiina Kivelä

    So many people and lovers I’ve met there. In Brussels; in its airport, metro stations and neighborhoods. Hugged and kissed. So many people, carrying various colors and types of passports, looks, religions, ages, occupations, stories, joys and sorrows with them. So many stories born, developed and ended there.

    Tiina Kivelä

    I’m sad, a bit angry, worried and confused. But I refuse to be scared. I refuse to give up my freedom. I refuse to give up other people’s freedom. I could have been there. You could have been there. I could have known you. I could have loved you. You could have loved me. Or someone. Any of us could have.

    The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.

    Rest in peace.


    Tomorrow I’m gonna fly. Not to Brussels though, but somewhere still. And despite all this horror, I’m not gonna be scared. I’m not gonna give up. And I would like advise you to do the same. Don’t give up. Don’t stop believing, loving, traveling and dreaming.

    I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles.


    *Quotes: Audrey Hepburn

  • Belgium
  • Throwback Thursday: Brussels

    Tiina Kivelä

    Three years ago I lived in Brussels for a while. Exciting, challenging, educative and fun period of my life, during which I learned to know in depth (and with debt I left the city after the poorly paid internships) both the loveliest and annoying parts of this city with so many faces. Nowadays I’m not sure if I’d like to move back there; so challenging it was, and not enough open water for my taste. But it would be nice to spend a week or two there again; to enjoy the loveliest parts, combined with a roadtrips to Champagne and Brasserie D’Achouffe. Preferably during spring, when the cherry trees and magnolias are blossoming and it’s warm enough to enjoy the drinks outside.

    We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other.

    During the 9 months I lived in Brussels I changed my residence couple of times, and even though they all had their pros and cons, one neighborhood managed to stand out as especially lovely. And that’s Ixelles, the Paris of Brussels, about which I’ve written the following piece already year ago. Rerun (sorry!), but Ixelles is definitely worth it.


    Ixelles. A commune inside a commune. The commune in which Audrey Hepburn was born. A lovely community in which I once lived. La Parisienne of Brussels.

    And there, Place du Châtelain. On Wednesdays, after work. Ambience, international and exciting. Traditional food, delicatessen, flowers and drinks. Rosé with ice. Or beer. Beautiful women, handsome men, conversations, arguments, kisses and laughter. French, English, Arabic, Finnish, Swedish and many more. Trés chic!

    Flaneur Rue du Bailli. Eat Sushi at Makisu. Drink a beer at Supra Bailly; pretend you’re an artist or a writer. Make a date, talk to strangers, eat something delicious at the market (I always had Pad Thai) and buy your weekly vegetables.

    And smile; there’s wine!

    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

    Foto: Place du Châtelain. Au printemps 2013

    *Repost from 20.2.2015

    ** Quotes © Ernest Hemingway – Moveable Feast