Updated January 19, 2019
I have very nice memories of this country. Those interested in gothic architecture and brewer gourmets, you should come here to live:
- Cities: the greatest exponent of the cited architecture. Elevated churches, buildings with triangular roofs and cobblestone pavements (although not practical to move on by the very popular bicycle), dressed with canals, form a beautiful set:
- Ghent and Bruges are two of the most beautiful and idyllic cities I have ever seen. They seem out of a fairy tale. They are wonderful and I am horrified to think of the countless tourists who visit them in only half a day each. They are cities to enjoy slowly, to become impregnated of their beauty and atmosphere, because there will be many other cities equal or more beautiful (depending on your taste), but there are none of the style.
- Some others are also worthwhile: Antwerp is the third wheel; Brussels is also worth a visit, especially for museum lovers; and the lesser known and smaller Leuven and Namur have some extraordinary buildings.
- As for other cultural aspects, painting of what is now Belgium is one of the best considered of 16th and 17th centuries.
- Nature: the truth is that nobody goes to Belgium just for its nature. It is a very flat country, its highest mountain hardly measures 694 meters of altitude, but in the south there are beautiful plains and forests, and some interesting caves.
- Gastronomy: it is a curious combination of French and German, although more oriented to the second, probably because the climate is more like that of Germany. But let no one worry if you are not a fan of that food; Belgium is a very advanced country, so you can find absolutely everything in supermarkets and restaurants. And as for the three typical dishes, if you do not get fat on this trip, you have not enjoyed them enough:
- Mention aside: beer. Belgian beer is world famous for a reason. No matter how long you want to visit the country, the first restaurant you go to, it will have so many types of beer, you will not be able to try them all in your entire stay. And I’m sorry for Czech Republic, which is said to be the cradle of beer, but here they beat them.
- Mention aside: chocolate. It will make your mouth water watching windows of shops and remembering them once you are back home (I tell you, I’m starving as I write). What a waste of ideas, forms and flavors. How can there be so many chocolatiers and are they all full?
- And another anecdote: french fries, French did not invented them, they are Belgian. If you dare to say the opposite while you are in the country, you will pay dearly; they are very sensitive about that.
- As for other aspects, it is also very similar to most Central European countries: safety, risk of accidents, prices … Therefore it is also very easy to move, since there are trains everywhere and at all times, with the advantage in this case that being a small country, it takes little to go from one place to another.
One last note, take the opportunity to go to Belgium now that it still exists, because the day will come when it separates in two, Flanders and Wallonia. Not only did the Belgians seem pleasant, kind and happy, but I have good friends there, one of them is one of the best travel buddies that I have had the pleasure to meet and from here I send regards but unfortunately, after two weeks there, I do not remember any country where I have noticed so much hostility between the north and the south. They literally seemed to hate each other, with good manners and sometimes even humor, but they hated each other. I think the day will come when I will see that country divided (like so many others, probably mine too). I just hope it’s for the good, both for the Belgians, and for us travelers.