Parks in Brussels abound. Some grand and majestic, others small and picturesque. My favorite park hideout belongs to the second category: the park of Pierre-Paulus. Located in the heart of Sint-Gillis, but unknown to many Brusseleirs. Partly because one of its entrances is tucked away behind a metro station. The park is surrounded by tall city buildings, a magnificent villa (formerly old stables) and an old folks center.
Like the elderly, you too can stroll along a small pathway. Cross a tiny bridge. Sit on a bench. Listen to fountains. Watch a pond. Gaze at a rock. Look at children playing, at cats sleeping between ducks, at copulating hens and roosters in what they thought were non-transparent bushes. Sounds too dull? Want some action yourself? Why not go for an extreme sport that combines physical endurance, keen strategy, aesthetics and aerodynamics, eruptions of muscular power, psychological warfare and a quest for the perfect balance between mind and body?
That’s right. You can play indoor petanque in this park as well!
Just enter the white, flat-roofed building in the park’s corner and discover multiple petanque lanes. Call this space the ‘boulodrome’ to sound like a French connoisseur. Ask for petanque equipment at the counter. Don’t be afraid. Play a game. It’s free!
Tired out? Cramps? Sit down and watch others tire themselves. Get a sandwich and a beer. Participate in the deck-of-cards-tombola that is being held. Pray you win the sausage. Relish in Brussels, the petite Paris of the north.