Posthumously, the more famous the surreal artist Renee Magritte became, the further his work was scattered around the world, collectors and museums vying to own one of his iconic paintings.

And while his home town of Brussels managed to hold onto a great deal of them, largely thanks to his friends, much of it predictably escaped abroad.

Magritte’s gift for transforming the mundane and everyday object into something loaded with possibility and meaning, while remaining instantly recognisable, made him hugely marketable and collectible.

But therein lay the problem, because Belgium took a long time to realise the enormity of Magritte’s legacy. Had it not been for his dear friend André Garitte, hording his paintings and buying his old apartment to transform into a museum, much more of it would have drifted away.

As it stands, you can’t get away from Magritte in Brussels. The magnificent Magritte Museum is now an integral part of the city.

But I digress. Back to the incredibly fast and efficient early morning Eurostar trip which delivered us right into the city centre, in time for the official opening of an exhibition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Magritte’s death.

Complete with curated talks and tours, Surrealist experts, art historians and journalists flocked from around the world to witness the great master being restored to his rightful place, albeit temporarily, in his home town.

It was incredible to witness so many world famous paintings depicting the very images that became his signature; pipes, apples, clouds and bowler hats lining up in an impressive Surreal procession, in the Magritte Museum itself.

Based on the premise that what you see isn’t real, that nothing is quantifiable, despite this ‘surreal’ bent, their inherent realism makes them much more amenable and approachable, than say, more abstract modern art.

It encapsulates what is already a stunning collection of the Surrealist painter’s works, embellishing his intent, much more complex than their recognisable forms.

The Magritte themed weekend, then led us through the city thanks to an incredibly enthusiastic and infectious guide who embellished Magritte’s life in Brussels through the city’s architecture, pubs and restaurants, colouring in a fuller picture of the Belgian artist’s life.

Take The Atomium, originally constructed for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair and designed by the engineer André Waterkeyn, its stainless steel clad spheres are based on the molecular structure of Belgium’s greatest export iron crystal magnified 165 billion times.

During a relatively recent refurb, the interior layer was peeled away to reveal the incredible structure itself.

But even The Atomium cannot escape the Magritte brush, an homage to the great Surrealist furnishing its interior, making your gradual ascent on its Flash Gordon style escalators all the more appealing.

Views from the top, and the uber futuristic restaurant above, surely rival that of The Eiffel Tower.

But most poignant was the visit to Magritte’s house, hidden down a typically suburban street lined with parked cars and parents pushing prams, where Magritte blended in so well, walking his own dog every morning in his slippers.

Here in these modest few rooms, he lived for most of his working life with his beloved wife, painting largely in the kitchen in peace and serenity, a far cry from the crazy, extrovert Surrealists in Spain.

Our stay was made even more remarkable by the luxury and understated elegance of the five star Steigenberger Hôtel whose centrality made all our excursions accessible and easy. And Brussels is packed with exciting restaurants, bars, festivals, attractions and architecture .

But Magritte is never far away in the capital city even if, in life at least, his rhetoric was impossible to pin down.

Or as he put it himself: “If the dream is a translation of waking life, waking life is also a translation of the dream.”

Brussels: Eurostar offers fares to Bruges from just £29 one-way or call 03432 186 186.

Magritte, Atomium meets surrealism until Sep 10, 2018, Magritte, Broodthaers & Contemporary Art until 18 Feb 2018, Magritte House