Four weeks ago I started my six week magical tour across seven European countries. My goal is to use magic as way of meeting as many interesting people as I can, explore every city that I visit, and to help cover expenses.
If you missed my previous blogs of my first three weeks in Prague, Berlin, and Amsterdam be sure to check those out too.
In my research I learned that Brussels and Paris have strict rules on street performing. I decided to combine these two cities into one week, in the event that I wasn’t able to perform as much as I wanted.
Arriving into Brussels I noticed the heightened security immediately. Just outside the train station there were military officers holding machine guns, with their fingers on the trigger, keeping a close eye on the crowds. It made for mixed feelings, they are there to protect the public, but also gave the feeling of danger.
I decided to walk to my hostel, where I was reminded of my love for Belgium waffles. I figured this was the perfect time to indulge. I was happy to see that they lived up to their name.
The Meininger hostel was very modern and welcoming. It was a 35 minute walk from the train station. I noticed that the further I walked away from downtown, a bit more run down the city became. However, I had yet to see what the city centre had to offer.
Grand Place blew me away. The architecture of these ancient buildings was stunning. They were absolutely massive. If it wasn’t for my GoPro, or the panorama function on my phone, there is no way you could fit them into one picture while standing anywhere near them.
My search began for the best place to street perform. I knew it was illegal without a license, however, I decided that asking for forgiveness over asking for permission was the best way to go about it.
I set up on a corner with high foot traffic coming from three directions. It went great! Crowds grew quick, they were tipping well, and I was getting some great reactions. I never had any issues with police. It was at this point that I wished I was staying in Brussels a little longer, but my time was limited so I made the best of it.
It wasn’t long until I hopped on the train again, this time towards Paris. I didn’t have much time booked in this city either so I tried to get as much done as possible. This City is huge! And the sightseeing doesn’t end. I think it would take a solid 2 weeks here to see most of it. Louvre, the world's largest museum is in this city. I didn’t go inside but I walked through the outdoors of it. I think you could spend a full week inside there alone. Just the outdoors was a lot to absorb.
I also visited the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur, Notre Dame, and the Eiffel Tower. Basilica of Sacre-Coeur is where I decided was the best place to street perform. It is a massive, beautiful, white church at the top of the Montmartre hill. The view of the city here is stunning and there are tourists in every direction.
I set up my show, and I think I had the best 10 minutes of street magic here in my entire trip. Then, I was shut down by police, telling me it was forbidden to busk anywhere in Paris. It was unfortunate, because the tips were the best I had seen yet, and it was only for 10 minutes.
However, I was prepared for this to happen, so I didn’t let it bother me. I just packed up and used the rest of my day for more sight seeing and visiting two of Paris’ magic stores. Magic Dream was amazing. It was the most beautiful magic store I’ve stepped inside of.
Below is a video of me performing magic for some children in Brussels. Pardon my broken French. These kids were so funny and loving it. Enjoy!
The week came to an end quickly and it was time for me to move on to my next city, being London. I’ve been here for a couple days already and I’m excited to say this trip keeps getting better and better. I’ll be sharing again soon. Thanks for reading!