There was a time I knew very little of Brussels and its landmarks but even then two images would have easily popped into my head: one was that of Manneken Pis, a bronze statue of a little boy peeing; the other was a picture of a colourful flower carpet covering the main market square looking like giant oriental rug. The carpet is a real masterpiece composed of hundreds of thousands of flowers whose creation involves not only gardeners but also graphic designers, illustrators, and landscape architects. It’s only in place for a few days every other August and until this year, I had never been in the city at the right time. Last Friday, however, I had a few hours to spare in Brussels before catching the train to London so without even having to think of my first move, I marched towards the Grand-Place.
To get a good view and be able to fully appreciate the intricate design you can buy a ticket to the balcony of the Town Hall. I settled for roaming around the square and getting a close-up view of the flowers as well as all the people who had come to see them, photograph them, and video the “launch”. I spotted a couple of TV cameras and furry microphones too as Friday was the press day of the event. On this 20th anniversary year the carpet had a Japanese theme to celebrate 150 years of Belgo-Japanese friendship. Even without the birds-eye view this floral piece of art was impressive to see, especially in its magnificent surroundings.