Once a year, when most people have packed up and gone on holiday for two months over the summer, Brussels closes a quarter of the ring road around the centre of the city and sets up a gigantic fun fair. It’s called Foire du Midi, because it’s a fair, and is based close to the Bruxelles Midi station. I think they do it because nobody is protesting around the European Quarter and they don’t want people to get bored.
Contrary to popular belief, boring is the one thing Brussels is not.
I say they close off the road, but that’s not strictly true. There are still cars booting it across the fair at various intersections, and the trains clatter overhead. Aside from the rides, the fair offers the opportunity to win items including televisions and fridge-freezers – it’s unclear whether these would be delivered later, or if you’d need to drag it home on the tram.
Ferret roulette was noticeably absent the year I took these pictures, although there was a carousel with real horses and a massive beach ball with a child inside. There was also a kind of G-force simulator which looked quite fun. I’m a bit of a scaredy cat though so I didn’t actually try any rides out. I loved practicing my street photography, although I’m still a bit shy with it and a lot of the people looked scary. Note to self: man up!
Foire du Midi is particularly exciting at night, not least because everyone is hammered. It’s also slightly more dangerous then, so I decided not to take the camera along. The annual pilgrimage to the inner city fair is one of the many things that I miss about living in Brussels.