Archive for the ‘Belgium’ Category

Traveling in Brussels

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

A visit to Brussels should see you enter into a very enjoyable city that is also the capital of Belgium and which has in its center a place known as the Petit Ring that is surrounded by fourteenth century walls and which is cut up into three distinct districts with the Lower Town in the western part of the city that caters to the middle and lower class families, while in the eastern part you will find the Upper Town that hosts the upper class Belgian families. In between these two districts is a boulevard where you will find many venues for shopping as also bars, restaurants and cafes.

BRU Brussels Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium

The boulevard also goes through The Grand Place that is the heart of the city and which sees many local people as well as tourists thronging there. If you want to visit museums in Brussels, then you would have to go to a part of the city that lies beyond the Petit Ring’s eastern walls and where you will find Parc Leopold that houses three large museums. And, for those that would much rather experience the arty side of Brussels, they could visit St. Giles that lies to the south of Brussels’ center and which is a very trendy district of Brussels. And, the royal family of Belgium has their residence beyond the northern part of Brussels at a location named Laeken.

If you want to go shopping in Brussels, you could check out Galeries Saint Hubert-Sint Hubertusgalerijen that has the proud honor of being the first shopping mall in the world. There are many typical department stores, cafes, bookstores and also tiny diners and a cinema in this wonderful shopping destination. Another alternative would be to visit Marche aux Puces-Vlooienmarkt that is a flea market situated in Place du Jeu de Balle-Vossenplein where you can get every different variety of things at rock bottom prices.

For quenching your thirst you could check out Beer Mania that is a local bar that is supposed to have more than four hundred beer types. And, for crawling from pub to pub you could check out Anderlecht while the trendier as well as more upscale establishments are located in Grand Place and St. Giles.

There is plenty of history and modernity found in Brussels that are so impressive that many consider it as being a Mecca for sightseeing. You would do well to pay a visit to Palais Royal, the Cathedral, the Musees Royaux des Beaux Arts, the Musees Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire as well as the Atomium. In spite of these impressive places to see, Brussels is still best known for its beer and you would do well to visit the breweries, pubs and also the bars that dot the city and which will give visitors a true feeling of Brussels that its many landmarks may fail to do.

Belgium Holidays

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

Belgium is a wonderful country situated on Europe’s mainland though it is often overshadowed by other more powerful neighboring countries including the Netherlands, Germany and France. The name of the country originates from the Celtic tribe name of Belgae, and this wonderful country forms a crossroads for much of Europe with particular relevance to mainland Europe and the United Kingdom. This country has seen it become heavily influenced by such powers as England, France and the Netherlands right through its history and there are still remnants of Romans, Celtics, Germans, French and Spanish influences to be found in modern day Belgium.

Belgium has been ruled by various European empires and it has thus had many famous commercial trading posts spring up in the form of Bruges, Antwerp and of course, its capital city Brussels. Belgium is not only famous for diamond trading, but it also has produced some very spectacular artists of whom Eyck and Rubens are perhaps the best known.

Brussels, Belgium

Modern day Belgium can be broken down into three separate states that each has significant amount of autonomy and there are Flemish, Walloon and also a tiny Germanic areas. The Flemish language spoken can be attributed to the Dutch influence, while the Walloon is more closely related to the French influences that have affected the country for many centuries. Each of these states is clearly divided and they all enjoy a great degree of autonomy and one may even consider them as being tiny countries in themselves.

Belgium is a Kingdom whose official name is the Kingdom of Belgium and it is a Western European country having about thirteen thousand square miles of territory with Brussels being its capital and which has just fewer than a million inhabitants with Antwerp, its second largest city with roughly half a million inhabitants.

The inhabitants of Belgium are called Belgians and there are about ten million people that all grow at a miserly level each year, which is believed to be about half a percent each year. As you enter the different states in Belgium, the main language changes with French being spoken in the Wallonia, Dutch in the Flanders and Germans are being most spoken in the Brussels area. The majority of Belgians are Roman Catholics though there are also Protestants, Jews, Muslims and also Anglican communities. The country is almost totally literate with as many as ninety-five percent literacy rate.

The country is really a mishmash of many influences and it enjoys a good reputation as being a progressive and friendly country with Brussels forming a major financial capital of Europe. The terrain in the country is generally flat though it can become hilly as well as forested as one enters the southeast of the country near Ardennes, and the climate in Belgium is generally cool and temperate with a lot of rains and summer temperatures hover in the seventies while in the winter it stays around the forty-five degree Fahrenheit. All in all, Belgium has a well developed market economy and boasts of having among the highest per capita GDP in the world.