Belgium - Beer and Chocolates galore

Trip Start Nov 15, 2004
Trip End Nov 10, 2005

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Friday, August 5, 2005

Within a few hours of leaving Amsterdam (and to Michael's dismay, without a new stamp in our passports due to open borders in most of Europe) we arrived in Belgium's capital, Brussel, where we were charmed by the old town square and delighted by the (cheap) delicious Belgium chocolates. Belgium is also famous for its beer - over 700 varieties - of which we tried only a few including unusual cherry and strawberry flavoured varieties and Trappist beers which were originally brewed by monks.

The other highlights of Brussel for us included the excellent Museum of Musical Instruments and seeing some live jazz in a cosy Belgium club and, of course, enjoying chocolates (the praline was invented here; our excuse for eating lots of them!).

We then headed west to the UNESCO World Heritage Listed town of Brugge for a couple of days where we did a lot of walking around the cobblestone streets (rather dangerous for your ankles!), saw Michaelangelo's statue of Madonna and Child and enjoyed a free musical performance one rather chilly evening.

Belgium was a little 'rougher' than the other European cities we have visited with social problems more evident and infrastructure older and not as efficient, a reminder that Europe (and western countries) also have some way to go to ensuring all citizens are provided for.
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