2 Memories of Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands July 2016 – Trip Report
Part 2 Belgium
Thanks for viewing! This is part 2 of a trip report. If you missed part 1, titled “1 Memories of Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands July 2016 – Trip Report Part 1 Germany” feel free to go back and read that post as well. Part 1 covers general items and our travels in Germany. I am providing these trip reports in an effort to inspire my readers to make a similar trip to a destination they have always dreamed of going. If we can do it you can too! Go Artway Today!
Lively town with the world famous Grand Place and Royal art Museums. On our first day we toured the central part of town near the Grand Place. I loved the old guildhalls on the Grand Place. Each building seemed to be outdoing the other in their façade outfits. We also went to see both the Manneken Pis and the Jeanneke Pis. What strange landmarks these are. Who would have thought a statue of a little boy and girl peeing would be so popular. The main event for the day was chocolate shopping. There are many shops to try on and around the Grand Place. We tried several. There are many flavors such as rum, coffee, mint, caramel, and all types of fruit and nuts. Mom was shocked that the days schedule allotted so much time for chocolate. She soon discovered why. In addition, we got to have those famous frites (fries) for dinner, yum! We even got to see some street breakdancing near the opera house.
On the following day we went to the Royal Gardens and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium specifically the Old Masters Museum. There’s a lot to see at the Old Masters: Bosch, van der Weyden, Hans Memling, Pieter Bruegal the Elder, and Peter Paul Rubens to name a few. Most of the day was spent there. Later we did get a chance to go to the Victor Horta Museum. It was his personal residence. If you like Art Nouveau you should check it out. Later that evening we watched the street performers from the hotel balcony onto the square below. What a great day!
Best memories – watching the street performers from the hotel balcony, break dancers near the opera, and the fries.
Lovely old brick gabled buildings, tapestry shops, canals, bell tower, chocolate, Belgian beer, and medieval art. Burges is so sweet. All the old buildings are beautiful, there’s a lot of nice shops if you want to go shopping, and it’s really easy to walk around the old town. On our first day we took the canal tour and walked around the old town. We loved the boat tour. You really get to see the architecture from a different perspective. It’s also very peaceful just riding in the boat thought the charming canals. We also went to the Basilica of the Holy Blood to see the Blood of Christ. It’s dried up red stuff in a glass vile encased in gold. Interesting! Additionally, we went to the Church of our Lady to see the Michelangelo sculpture (Madonna). We finished with dinner on the Market Square. Nice view but mediocre food, perhaps we should have shied away from the touristy areas to eat? But after all we were tourist!
The next day was full of art, Beer, and Chocolate. We went to the Groningemuseum. They have some paintings by Jan Van Eyck, Hieronymus Boch, and Hugo Van der Goes to name a few. It’s a nice uncrowded museum with early Netherlandish paintings of renaissance and baroque masters. Fine museum! Afterwards, we toured the Brewer De Halve Maan. They show you how they make the beer and even let you try some at the end of the tour. It was very informative and surprisingly family friendly. You also get a great view, toward the end of the tour, from the top of the brewery. That view is worth the tour alone. To top it all off we went to the Choco Story Musuem. As the name states, it’s all about the history and making chocolate. It was a little cheesy with some of the dioramas being made of Legos. Never the less, it was entertaining and you got to see them making some real chocolate at the end of the tour. If your there with kids, they will love this museum, and it was a treat from the ever so serous museums we had been visiting.
Best memories – canal boat ride, tapestry shopping, and the view from the brewery top.