Whenever people ask me how my trip in Belgium went, I always answer like this. “Hmm, it’s a country like tasty white chocolates you don’t want to share with others.” It sounds a bit unreal, doesn’t it? I know, but I really think so, or I want to believe so.
Traveling in Belgium is a lot easier compared to their neighbors.
Based on Brussels, the capital, you could go to another city and come back to Brussels in the evening. They have splendid train systems that are super friendly towards poor students. If you are under 26, don’t ever miss your chance to get a discount. Belgium is a student friendly country all in all.
There’s one specific fact that I love about Belgium, even though that makes this small country even more unbalanced, yet, I’m into that idea of using three official languages. Dutch (Flemish), French and German. The latter one is barely used in Belgium though. Thus, it’s never strange to see someone being able to speak minimum 3 languages. Of course, there’s many disadvantages coming from the lack of communications and I suppose fairly enough has been presented regarding their hidden issues from language barriers. Although learning both Dutch and French for Belgian citizens is essential, they don’t always speak two languages at the same time. Speaking of that, some weeks ago I watched a very fascinating documentary about the chocolate land.
One woman that lives in Antwerp which belongs to Flemish part of Belgium decided to explore and get to know her country and traveled everywhere in Belgium including some small cities and seriously, seeing her get shocked by the multiculturalism has given me a good lesson and has made me to visit Belgium once again. All in all, it’s small scale but there are a lot of important things that everyone should be aware of.
Did you know that Belgium has been one of the leading countries on the globe in terms of human rights? They became the second country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, just after their soulmate the Netherlands. Speaking of which, many homosexual couples had to move to either Belgium or Holland ten years ago to simply get married, because there was no chance in their homelands. I believe that the distinctive Belgian freedom or Dutch freedom influenced other Europeans.
During my stay in Belgium I managed to visit many different cities near Brussels as I didn’t want to be stuck in the capital only. I went to Brugge, Antwerp, Leuven and Gent. All these cities were precious and and they have their own attractions. Of note : Winter is the (as usual) the worst season to explore Belgium.
Cloudy, rainy, depressing and dark. I don’t know how worse I’ll be able to describe the weather. If you ask me to pick up my favorite city in Belgium, my vote goes to Antwerp as I was fascinated by the charming city architecture. Remember “A dog of Flanders?” That novel was set in Antwerp. When I was there, I tried to look back on the past. For some reason, Antwerp was already so familiar to me even before having visited the city. I guess it’s probably because of the book, or maybe one of my oldest penpal friends, unfortunately I’m no longer in touch with her though. Thanks to her, I debuted as a dutch (flemish) learner back then in 2008 just due to my infinite love towards Belgium and the Netherlands. You know, it’s funny I couldn’t stick to it and gave it up so easily.
Things that I miss from Belgium
Honestly I don’t eat waffles at all when I’m home as not being a big fan of sweets, but in Belgium it’s essential eating them. I love the smell of waffles in la Grand-place in Brussels. They are very cheap also, mostly starting from 1 euro.
As I already mentioned in my previous post, Belgium is definitely number one when it comes to national beers. Sorry Germany aka one of my beloved countries, but your beers are no match for Belgians.
I really think Belgium should find better solutions to take back the national fries from France. People should call it Belgian fries, rather than French fries. It sounds more convincing and tasty.
I love the Trams of Antwerp and Gent. No specific reason why. I just do so.
My Belgian story is not done yet, there’s more to come!
Peace and love.