My first trip to Belgium after being there for three months

in Haveyoubeenherelast month (edited)

Now it's really weird, I thought I'd written about Belgium before, but I don't have any Belgium pins on Pinmapple. Perhaps I've written random short non travel posts and didn't pin on the map. Anyway, got to rectify that and add another new country to my Pinmapple map.

livinguktaiwan divider.png

First proper trip to Belgium

We used to go on long weekend trips to Europe quite frequently when we were still living and working in UK. Surprisingly, with Belgium being one of the nearest countries to UK, we only went once. That was after I had spent the three previous months week in week out working on a project in Belgium, but had never set foot in Brussels, other than at the airport.

Actually, during our weekend in Belgium we didn't end up spending much time in Brussels either. We arrived on Friday afternoon and went around The Grand Place as you would on your first trip to the city. I can't even remember where dined.
DSC_0317.JPG

I don't have any other photos of Brussels, but being a dessert person, I took a few images of this patisserie and these intriguing looking desserts. I don't know what they're called but they were certainly very inviting.

DSC_0310.JPG


Bruges

On Saturday, we did a day trip to Bruges. We heard it was a beautiful little city. I probably wouldn't use beautiful to describe, more like quaint. Like nearly all old European cities, it has some sort of tall structure that dominates the city. The 115m tall Church of Our Lady dates back to as far as the 13th century, and is the world's second tallest brickwork structure.
DSC_0328.JPG

DSC_0353.JPG

We did the touristy thing and climbed up the 84m tall Belfry that was located a short distance away from the Church of Our Lady.
DSC_0341.JPG

The next stop was lunch. We did another touristy thing and went to the Vlissinghe. This is Bruge's oldest pub and dates back to 1515. Apart from being a small cosy pub, it has a great ambience, almost like dining inside a museum. I was most impressed by its heating system.
DSC_0366.JPG

DSC_0356.JPG

Bruges isn't that big and it's very easy to walk around the city. After lunch, we wandered off to the river to see the windmills. In the old days, Bruges used to have 23 windmills, today there are only four remaining. This is Sint-Janshuismill and is the oldest one from 1770. There's a museum inside, but of course, being a Saturday afternoon in Europe, it was closed!
DSC_0372.JPG

DSC_0377.JPG

Bonne Chiere is the youngest surviving mill and was originally built in 1844. This is a re build in 1911 as the original one was damaged in a storm. Bonne Chiere has always just been for show and not in operation. Kinda strange if you ask me. But then, who am I to comment on Belgium windmill history.
DSC_0393.JPG

DSC_0394.JPG


European Parliament

Back in 2015, we were still part of this institution, this big family, the European Union. It was logical to pay a visit to the European Parliament as it was a stone's throw away from our hotel. Ok, I'm lying. It was a Sunday morning and it was raining. Most of the places were closed, and it was free to enter the European Parliament. It was perfect to kill a few hours indoors before we were due to catch the Euro Star back to London in the afternoon.
DSC_0428.JPG

DSC_0434_edited.jpg

There was quite a lot to see and do inside, enough to keep us occupied for a few hours. It was interesting to learn more about this large institution that we were an integral part of, and more information about some of the other member countries.

DSC_0440.JPG

DSC_0448.JPG

I don't know if being separated from the rest of Europe by the British Channel meant that UK were always in but not quite in, and had our own distinct identity. Of course, this came apparent in due course, and a year later in 2016, the nation voted to leave the EU. The 321km between London and Brussels was only a short physical distance away, but we now we couldn't be further apart from one another.
DSC_0435_edited.jpg


The other highlight of our trip to Belgium, and Bruges specifically was trying out all the beers. That warrants a separate post, I just need to dig out all my photos first.





You can checkout all my travel post on the Pinmapple here or click on Mr Pinmapple below

Sort:  

Hi @livinguktaiwan,
Thank you for participating in the #teamuk curated tag. We have upvoted your quality content.
For more information visit our discord https://discord.gg/8CVx2Am

Congratulations, your post has been added to Pinmapple! 🎉🥳🍍

Did you know you have your own profile map?
And every post has their own map too!

Want to have your post on the map too?

  • Go to Pinmapple
  • Click the get code button
  • Click on the map where your post should be (zoom in if needed)
  • Copy and paste the generated code in your post (Hive only)
  • Congrats, your post is now on the map!

I kind of miss Belgium. I was at Brussels several years ago and twice at Antwerp between 2009 to 2011

I'd like to go back again, although it's a small country, I think it deserves more than just a weekend there

Yes, there are nice small cities. One night I was there, someone drove us from Antwerp to Gent. That's nice too.

Never been their before, looks amazing and I see some really nice shot's you got. Thanks for sharing. Bless you...

Thanks @shoemanchu. It was a trip before I started blogging so I don't have many images unfortunately, unlike now I take so many photos of everything when I travel 😅

All good, plenty of awesome shot's to me.

Hiya, @ybanezkim26 here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made it into our Honorable Mentions in Daily Travel Digest #1092.

Your post has been manually curated by the @pinmapple team. If you like what we're doing, please drop by to check out all the rest of today's great posts and consider supporting other authors like yourself and us so we can keep the project going!

Become part of our travel community:

Thanks team!!

I have never been there, its architecture and landscapes are beautiful and apparently the food is very attractive

Most European cities have great architecture and lots of character, always nice to visit.

It is true, knowing these places enriches you.

Thank you have taken me to travel around Europe today, what a beautiful country, you have seen many beautiful places.

A personal question, how many countries have you visited? @livinguktaiwan

Good question! I never counted really, must do it one day.

I would love to visit more countries, especially Latin America, so far I've only been to Peru, Brazil and Colombia.

So if you know Latin American, I'm glad you do.

The more you travel the more you want to know, you are young God will bless you to continue traveling. 😘🤗

Belgium has a unique allure of its own! But I’m particularly amazed at the windmill of Sint-Janshuismill in Bruges being the oldest one from 1770. It doesn’t appear ancient because its outside appearance looks modern due to its plain and unadorned aesthetic as compared to the more traditional-looking windmills of the Netherlands. Thanks Pauline for showing us around!

You're welcome Erne. Those were the pre blogging days and I don't have many photos, so unfortunately I can't share more of my trip. Thanks for dropping by.

Bruges is really beautiful 😍

Its is in deed, I wish I could spend more than a day there

I hope you liked visiting my country!

Yes, I did thank you.
I'd definitely like to go back again, a weekend is not long enough!

Those desserts look delicious. I wonder what's inside it if it's stuffed with something. I haven't seen Bruges nor Belgium at night time. We just drove there for a day trip during a road trip stopover in Lille, France. I enjoyed both cities but found Bruges to be quaint like you said and more charming.

I didn't know about the oldest pub. I'll take note of that for future reference. What we missed was trying out a pub crawl that we spotted having seen a massive wall display of various Belgian beers. We couldn't participate in it due to the long drive we had to do that evening. It's perfect for those who are staying there for a few nights.

I think they might be some sort of
meringue but not sure what they roll it in. It looked very intrigued amdi can't remember why I didn't buy one, maybe I was still stuffed from dinner.

We did a beer crawl that day in Bruges, didn't go to many pubs as it was pretty cold. We found a really nice cosy pub in the evening, pack with people with a lovely atmosphere and. I think during the day we tried 13 different beers between the two of us😅

Woah 13 different beers? 😍 Best way to enjoy Bruges!