A friend of my mother’s had given her a tip to visit the royal greenhouses at Laeken, in a suburb of Brussels. Unfortunately, my mom’s springtime visit did not coincide with the opening of the greenhouses to the public, which only happens for three weeks each year. However, I did follow the recommendation and made sure that I went when they were!
I took the metro then walked through a lovely park before arriving at the royal palace in Laeken. I was surprised to note a massive line across the street from the gates and was not pleased to learn that I would have to wait in it before I could go inside. I had the bad luck of arriving just as a few tour busses were unloading their passengers, so it ended up taking me over an hour to get inside, partly due to the heavy security screening visitors need to go through. However, it was a beautiful day (it would not have been fun to wait in the rain!), I brought my Kindle, and I really had nothing better to do… so wait, I did.
The greenhouses themselves are gorgeous and the visitors’ route takes you out through the orangery, then around the greenhouses to start at the far end and walk back to the orangery through them. Because it was such a beautiful day, I loved seeing the vast grounds full of flowering and budding trees, with a lovely view of Brussels in the distance. That being said, had it been a rainy day (and those are far too common here), I don’t think the visit would have been quite as nice.
I’m already looking forward to revisiting them next year!