12 January 2011

that quiet place

You're probably thinking to yourself, "Why Belgium?"  I get asked that question a lot, and before I moved there, my reasoning managed to be both cosmopolitan and narrow-minded.  I went to Belgium, I thought, because of it's proximity to other places.  Hop a train and ninety minutes later, I could be in Paris, Amsterdam, or Cologne!  Thanks to the Eurostar, London was only three hours away!  The best thing Belgium had going for it was the ease of going elsewhere.

Or so I thought.   A warm, sunny September day in Brugge promptly shattered all of my entrenched beliefs.

Belgium is flat land and gothic architecture, rowdy Saturdays and quiety Sundays, bicycles and beer.  It's as reserved and unassuming as Paris is in-your-face.  It could easily be mistaken for just another blurry landscape that the trains zips by.  But Belgium has so much more to share, once I took the time to stop and listen. 

The Grand Place in Brussels:

A foggy Ghent:

The Cloth Hall at Ieper (it used to look like this):

(the place with the flags has the best fries)

the seacoast at Oostende:

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