Belgium, take 2
Trip Start Nov 02, 2010
24Trip End Jan 15, 2011
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Where I stayed
Stayed with some friends near Brussels
Our friends were busy on Saturday, so we drove to the coast of Belgium. We hadn't seen the English Channel before, so we thought we'd give it a look while we were close. It was incredibly cold (duh) and I can't imagine anyone swimming across it. From there we drove a bit to Brugges
Brugge is a walled, canal city built around the 1st Century BC. As the canals gradually silted, the city lost access to the sea. After several tries at reviving their economy, Brugge sank into poverty in the early 1800's. It wasn't until the end of the 19th century that it became a tourist destination for the British and French tourists. It seems to us that the key to being a great tourist destination now was to have become impoverished right as the rest of your country is progressing and modernizing. Because they could not afford to rebuild or remodel, the medieval architecture is still mostly intact and the center of town in a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Belgium is the hardest place to get around in that we have visited. The always polite and well mannered Belgians turn into blood crazed freaks when it comes to driving - or biking or walking, for that matter. You'll notice a picture on here of a man in a motorized wheel chair in front of our car. He totally cut us off and then drove down the middle of the street for 8 blocks! The people on bikes sped by us so close that they were setting our sensor alarms (that are supposed to help you not hit something when you're parking) off on the front and back! Pedestrians just step out whenever and wherever they feel like it and they have this strange rule that anyone entering traffic from the right has the right of way! Most of the cars have giant dents and scratches on the left sides....so scary. The Belgians claim that they are better drivers because of all of this....Enter the streets at your own risk!