Blogs from Belgium, Europe - page 2

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Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges November 16th 2013

We went on another guided tour today to the cities of Gent and Bruges - both located in Flanders region of Belgium (Gent in the east, Bruges in the west), and both important medieval port cities. The tours we have been going on are really nice, because they provide an overview on the area, and allow us to visit a few different places in one day. We started in Gent, which is the capital and largest city in the east Flanders province. Our guide walked us around Gent in a big square, highlighting the churches and the former castle of the Counts of Flanders. It was rather foggy while we were in Gent, so although the buildings and town were beautiful - pictures didn't turn out so great. After about 2 hours in Gent, we headed ... read more
Bruges 2
Bruges 3
Bruges 4

Europe » Belgium » Brussels-Capital Region » Brussels November 15th 2013

We made it to Brussels yesterday! We took the train from London to Brussels, which meant that we passed under the English Channel (ie, through the "chunnel"). Pretty uneventful train ride, with the exception that my ears kept popping because of the pressure of going into the tunnel. We relaxed yesterday, and just went window shopping around our hotel. We are about a 10 minute cab ride south of the super tourist part of Brussels, and our hotel is in the shopping region - so we are surrounded by stores like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Cartier, etc. We woke up early this morning and took a cab to the Grand Place for our chocolate walking tour (yes, that's right - chocolate. tour.)! Overall, I was really happy with the tour. There were only 7 people (including us) ... read more
Grand Place 2
Chocopolis
Smurfs

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Brugge November 6th 2013

Dunkirk France and Brugge Belgium 5 Nov 2013 We have learnt from the locals in Belgium that we need to “expect wet weather’. They get lots of rain! And they are right! As we drove through rural Belgium, we saw lots of water-logged paddocks. I reckon if the farmers didn’t till their land by a particular time of the year, they would “miss the boat”. The land is very flat so there is nowhere for the water to run off. It is the ‘low country’ after all! Time was on our side when we left Ipres so we decided to duck down to Dunkirk just over the border into France. The Dunes of Dunkirk were an important site for the Alliance in the 2nd WW. It was only 20 km further south. So of we went….in ... read more
Brugge Belgium 5 Nov 2013 (7)
Brugge used to be on the coast of the North Sea Belgium 5 Nov 2013
Christmas and chocolate go together in Brugge Belgium 5 Nov 2013 (2)

Europe » Belgium » Antwerp Province » Antwerp November 6th 2013

Antwerp Belgium 6 November 2013 It rained on and off during the night at Camping Memling in Bruges but we were warm and dry. This camp site had a bread dispensing machine which has fresh bread in it every morning except Thursdays. There was also a machine you could buy an hours internet use. More and more we are seeing automation/self-serve machines at camp sites and more restricted reception times. Camping in 6 degrees and with constant drizzle of rain I guess encourages Europeans to stay home. Back to Antwerp. There was only 80 kms between Bruges and Antwerp. We arrived at about 11.00am. We parked the camper on the banks of the major River Schelde which flows into the harbour. We parked next to the Steen Plein which was a fortress built around 1200. It ... read more
Antwerp Belgium 6 Nov 2013 (11)
Antwerp Belgium 6 Nov 2013 (26)
Antwerp Belgium 6 Nov 2013 (34)

Europe » Belgium » East Flanders » Gent November 6th 2013

Ghent (Gent) in Belgium Sunday 3 November 2013 As our GPS saw the best way to get to Ypres was through Gent, we decided to change our plans and look around this city of 240,000 people. Wow, what a lovely city. It has a bit of everything – new, old, excellent food, entertainment, history, interesting markets…..but the wind chill factor would have to have been about 1 degree. It was actually 6 degrees out of the wind. Tom and I loaded on the clothes, scarves, gloves, and off we went. Friends who we met on Santorini in Greece, Hazel & Richard, love this city. We tried to catch up with each other but not this time. Fortunately, we had picked up a map from a tourist information desk in Brussels on Ghent so we knew where ... read more
Beer shop in Gent Belgium 3 Nov 2013
Castle of the Counts in Gent when it was a prison Belgium 3 Nov 2013 (43)
City views from Het Gravensteen or Castle of the Counts in Gent Belgium 3 Nov 2013 (2)

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Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Ypres November 5th 2013

Ypres in Belgium 4 November 2013 We arrived at the camp site in Ypres at 5.00pm in darkness and it was still raining. The camp site was a recommendation from friends Pauline & Ross who had stayed here a week or 2 beforehand. We were very grateful for their advice. As soon as we hooked up to power we put our heater on!!!! One thing we were looking forward to was to see the bugle-playing event, the ”Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing” that happens every day of the week for many years since the 1920s, at 8.00pm. At 7.30pm when I was going to walk to the ceremony the rain started to pelted down. We couldn’t drive our camper out because the boom gate was down and we didn’t have an entry card. So that ... read more
Cement House Cemetery Ypres Salient around Ypres in Belgium 4 Nov 2013 (3)
Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing ceremony in Ypres happens every night at 8.00pm since the 1920s (19)
Cloth Hall and Town Hall in Ypres Belgium (3)

Europe » Belgium » Brussels-Capital Region » Brussels November 4th 2013

Waterloo and Brussels in Belgium 2 & 3 November 2013 After leaving Luxembourg, we headed north on the motorway for 180kms. Neither Luxembourg nor Belgium has toll roads and we found their roads to be excellent. It continued to rain lightly most of the way. Just as we were arriving in Waterloo, we spotted the 45m high Butte deLion, viewed from the Waterloo battle field. This is where Napoleon was defeated by the Duke of Wellington on 8 June 1815. The monument was built 9 years after the Battle. There is a massive lion statue at the top of the big mound which symbolized success and strength. We climbed up to the top and had a magnificent view of what was the battlefield. Now, there are farms all around with the town of Waterloo in the ... read more
Butte de Lion at Waterloo Belgium 2 Nov 2013 (14)
Butte de Lion at Waterloo Belgium 2 Nov 2013 (15)
Butte de Lion at Waterloo Belgium 2 Nov 2013 (17)

Europe » Belgium » Brussels-Capital Region » Brussels October 16th 2013

Belgium called loudly and we answered with vigor!!! We ate, drank and were very merry! We had every intention to visit Ghent, Antwerp and Bruges, while in Belgium. After all, the country is small and the train provides great, easy transportation throughout. Our hub was to be Brussels, and we booked our stay at the Stephanie Home Suites hotel. We had read several blogs about Belgium and were ready with our busy agenda, intent on seeing it all, drinking the beer, and eating the waffles and chocolate for which Belgium is so famed. Maybe it is the fact that we are Moroccan now and we have learned the skill (and it really is a skill) of being on a “no plan” plan, or maybe it was the unexpected wonderfulness of one of our now favorite places, ... read more
The famous statue of "Manneken Pis"
A beautiful church in Brussels.
Can you almost taste its juiciness?

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges October 12th 2013

We have been very fortunate in finding. Campgrounds as advertised either in the ACSI CAMPING BOOK, Bord Atlas or on the Internet. However, as we headed toward Calais, our fortune changed and we ended up at a location that has been closed for 5 months ( since May). Signs still up approaching from 2 different directions with a crisp OPEN sign clearly visible. The neighbors gave us updated info. And so we made a u-turn and found a lovely, huge campground where we were sited on a canal very close to a marina and the North Sea. And so we have had two very relaxing days before we board the ferry to Dover, to download photos and to remember what a delightful city Brugge is. We had a campsite on a yachtport within 15 minutes walk ... read more
Brugge le Chocolatier
Brugge scenic canal
Earea of silence, St. Elizabeth chruch-2

Europe » Belgium » Brussels-Capital Region » Brussels September 25th 2013

Well, the time has finally come for me to make the most out of my last day here in Brussels, Belgium. I was going to try and get up earlier so I had that bit of extra time...did it happen? Ummm...nope! I woke up about 09:30am! I still had another day of use on my Brussels card, so wanted to make the most of that too. I also really wanted to go to one of the local flea markets. This was located at the far south of Brussels, so ideal for me to use my Brussels card as it includes all travel on the metro, tram and bus system! After studying various maps, along with Google maps to double check as we all trust Google, I made my way to the nearest station and it was ... read more
Cars, cars everywhere!
The flea market
Biscuit shop




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