Blog Archive

December 8, 2013

2006 - 2007 - 2013 Belgium

Our trip to Brussels (2006) was impulsive, short but made a impression. I hate shopping but we managed to compromise and this time we both had a good time snooping around the beautiful & cozy shops. We ended up in a Jazz café and had a great evening. We forgot a bag with brand new books when we left so should you be reading this post and became the proud owner of ‘De kleine Kapitein’ en ‘Extreem luid en ongelooflijk dichtbij’ which you found in a Brussels Jazz café please let us know the name of the café because we forgot and would like to return some day. Hope you had fun reading the books because they are great.

In 2007 I wanted to acquire a new second hand car which we would have driven in to Antwerp for a short Belgium weekend. Arriving in Nijmegen by train we discovered that it would not be possible to buy the car as my official residential address was still in Madrid (Spain) which is another fabulous story I won’t be able to tell just yet…  Leaving a disappointed car salesman behind we continued our train trip and arrived in Antwerp train station which must be one of the most beautiful train stations on earth. On arrival we took a short break at the Irish pub with beer and chips. Having our pockets loaded with cash we decided to go Royal and booked us a room at the Hilton. What’s special about the Hilton? Well they serve unlimited booze in the sauna for one… which isn’t very smart. If you are reading this and worked in the Antwerp Hilton in 2007 and had to clean up my puke in the hallway… I did my best to do it myself but I was way too drunk.

Last month we had a sudden week of free time to spare and we gave Belgium another shot. The last couple of months we stayed in a hotel in Swalmen because I was busy with a project for APG  in Heerlen which is pretty much like the city of Harlingen in the United States of America where Mexico is like Belgium geographically (the cities and countries don’t resemble in any way of course). My colleagues told us to visit Gent and Brugge and that’s what we were going for this time as those guys should know the best places to see being natives so to speak. Gent is one beautiful city and we had a lovely time drinking, eating and strolling away. We slept in a ancient monastery and in the morning we had breakfast in a patisserie when before I could have my first shot of caffeine the building cross the street had caught fire and all hell broke loose.  We had first row seats to the show and within thirty minutes the firemen took control and we left for Brugge.

We had booked the Golden Tree Hotel the day before and I normally only post positive remarks about excellent places we went but this time I have to warn you guys. The place wasn’t that bad. The thing I want to warn you about is the entrance to the parkway. It was designed for wagon and horses the guy told me when I faintly scratched the side of my car. Within five minutes the guy who entered the parkway behind us banged up the side of the car completely.

Brugge itself was very nice but somewhat of a slight disappointment as everyone had such a high opinion that they set our expectations too. Maybe it psychological as everyone was so enthusiastic about Brugge we enjoyed Gent more as it was way better than we had hoped for. Brugge looks pretty much the same but we liked it a bit less which still makes Brugge a very nice city to visit. We checked out the chocolate museum, went to the Salvador Dali exhibition and a couple of churches. Loved the local beer there (Brugse Zot).  After that we had a couple of days left but as the weather was wank and the coastline wasn’t all that pretty we activated the Tom Tom and set the route for home. Nothing like home on a cold, wet rainy Dutch Sunday morning :)

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