Belgium is the country you want toreturn

Fri, Feb 20, 2015

The idea to visit Belgium was born spontaneously and justified long ago
the observation not only noted by me: spontaneous decisions bring
in our life the best. And it all began not so rosy:
on a rainy September afternoon I didn’t know what to do with myself so that
get rid of the state of complete fatigue – had to
get nervous But I knew the right way to help myself – I went to
favorite cafe, ordered cocoa with marenga and wrote sms to a friend,
who lives in Italy. My friend is a treasure, a couple of minutes of communication with
they put a smile on my face. We have known each other for 20 years and
in all we find understanding, we are united in the passion for travel.

Word for word, I complained to a friend about the autumn blues and decided
asking for his visit to Italy – the breeze from Lake Garda is already
once broke up my longing, a proven means. Friend
asked how many days I can devote to the trip. I had
a week. He replied – super, that’s enough for a trip to Belgium,
flew? I agreed without hesitation!

We got to Belgium by a low-cost ryanair ticket from Milan
cost us only 40 euros. Low cost flights to Belgium
takes Charleroi airport, which is located in the Walloon region
Belgium, 50 kilometers from Brussels. Closer – at 11
kilometers in Zaventem is the main airport of Brussels,
receiving flights of major airlines. Brussels is easy to reach
by train from Paris or Amsterdam – an hour on the road, and you are at your destination.

From the airport, easy access to the capital of Belgium by bus
shuttles that run every half hour and by prior
Online booking can cost 10 euros per person. Have
Shuttle stopping for tourists is met by the first characteristic Belgian
flavor – buses park directly in front of the kiosk selling
French fries – it is considered a national Belgian dish and more
You will meet more than once in a Belgian journey. In Bruges she even
dedicated to the whole museum! Of course, these smells of drool and hands flow
are drawn to the wallet for a five-euro note – that’s how much it costs
a large portion of potatoes, generously seasoned with mayonnaise. Not worth it
hurry – in the center of Brussels at every step you can buy the same
a portion for 1.5 euros, take in a nearby shop a bottle of the famous
Belgian beer (more than 900 of its varieties are produced in the country) and,
crouching right on the pavement of the main square Grand Place, arrange
city ​​picnic.

Shuttle brings travelers to one of the three stations
Brussels – South (Gare du Midi or Brussel-Zuid). It is very convenient
as a starting point for traveling in Belgium, because they leave it
trains and to Flanders – to Antwerp, Ghent, Brugge, and to the south
the francophone part of the country is Wallonia. And if the plans to start
see Brussels itself, it’s easy to find right in the station building
metro station of the same name and in half an hour to get to any part
Brussels. We went on foot – the apartment we rented for a while.
stay in Belgium, was 15 minutes walk from the station, and
It took us the same amount of time to get to the city center.
What was our surprise when we saw the name
Street leading to our temporary housing: Stalingrad Boulevard!
The spice was added by the fact that Stalingrad is the central street
Moroccan quarter.

On the first evening in Brussels, we had a lot: we saw the statue
Manneken Pis, the central square of the Grand Place, on it –
City Hall and luxurious medieval palaces. Through
Adjacent to the area of ​​the Royal Galleries – the passage of the most expensive
boutiques and meeting place of the Brussels aristocracy in the old days,
we went to Myasnikov Street, where we got into the holiday atmosphere –
here you are invited to the cozy restaurants of national cuisine,
bohemian cabaret, here is located the Theater de Toone – theater
marionettes, he heads the list of entertainment in Brussels version
Tripadvisor. We could not get past this holiday of life and
sat down at a table in one of the restaurants – we decided to try one of
traditional belgian food – moules frites, mussels,
cooked in a wine or beer sauce with greens, served with
french fries. They brought strange instruments, to deal with
which we, to our shame, could only connect to
Wi-Fi.

In the historic center, tourists can buy and try anything
what is considered to be the business card of Belgium: chocolate is the most exquisite
species and fancy shapes, lace and tapestries, and of course
Belgian waffles, the aroma of which is impossible to forget. They are served
soaked in syrup and jam, with ice cream, fruit, poured
chocolate, delicious to surrender!

Due to the fact that Brussels is a small city for the capital,
The main attractions are compact and you can
run around in a day. But is it worth the rush? Better leisurely
enjoy walks through the cozy quarters of Ilo-Sacre and Marol,
sit on the benches in the park of the 50th anniversary overlooking the Triumphal Arch.
Or spend time exploring vintage gadgets at a flea market.
in the Sablon quarter, visit the Atomium – modern symbol of brussels
or the modern European Quarter, where the European Commission is located and
European Parliament meets, because Brussels is also the capital
European Union.

In Brussels, it is easy to feel like a local – the population of the city
multinational due to the concentration of international offices
government organizations as well as Belgium in the past
Colonizing country, the Belgian Congolese – the indigenous population
country. It is difficult to distinguish tourists from Brussels, so it seems
that there are few travelers in the city and this makes breathing easier. What
you can’t say about Bruges – perhaps the most tourist city
Belgium

Travelers can be understood – once in Bruges, you find yourself in
the atmosphere of a medieval tale, where gingerbread houses, each with
its architectural twist, located along the canals. Where in
Cathedral of Notre Dame kept the only statue of Michelagelo,
exported from Italy during his lifetime, and in the Basilica of the Holy Blood in
crystal Phial kept the blood of Jesus.

Mandatory program in Bruges – to drive through the channels on
excursion boat, at the same time listening to a half-hour tour of
city ​​on one of the European languages, see live
landmark of the city – a huge dog that is whole
sleeps for days, substituting the sun face in the window of one of the houses on
channel. And, of course, have a beer or hot chocolate in one of
Cafe on the Grote Markt market square, looking at the Town Hall
with the tower Belfort.

Getting to Bruges (by the way, the Belgians call it softly –
Bruche) is easy: every hour a train stops from Brussels
in Ghent, Bruges and finally in Ostend. We got there
unplanned – bypassing all the sights of Bruges we
understand that we still have time and have time to get to Ostend
и потом return обратно, чтобы посмотреть Брюгге в иллюминации.
Ostend is a resort city and the largest Belgian port in the North
sea. The closer we got to the pier, the harder it was to hold onto
feet – the sea wind literally took down from his feet and brought him down to
bones, but at the same time brought the smell of the sea and the delight of feeling
boundless sea expanses. Having shuddered on the shore, we ran
warm up the bar on the waterfront, and a portion of brandy came very
by the way.

One of the days we devoted to a trip to Antwerp – also a port, but
river, on the shipping Scheldt. It is a world center for jewelers and trade.
diamonds, right at the train station – which, by the way,
recognized as the most beautiful in Europe; jewel windows sparkle
salons. Antwerp – the birthplace of Rubens, and in the Cathedral of the Most Holy
Our Lady kept two of his masterpieces. Friendие работы художника, и еще
More than 7 thousand paintings, prints and sculptures of different eras are collected in
Royal Museum of Fine Arts.

Taking a photo near the Steen Castle, looking at the embankment
exhibits of the boat museum in the open, wandering through the narrow streets
and not forgetting to look into Chinatown, where in addition to Asian
restaurants there are Chinese and Buddhist temple, and wushu school, we
went back to the station. On the way we often met
Orthodox Jews – it is their community that owns the jewelry and
antique stores in the Diamond Quarter, live there
hereditary diamond cutters. The rain that started made us
Hurry to hide in a cozy car of a high-speed train.

We decided to leave Wallonia the next time – to Belgium we still
Will definitely be back!

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