I have to admit that I’ve never given much thought to the federal state of Belgium before visiting last week – which on reflection was remiss of me.
Consider to begin with the illustrious, (albeit much mocked), list of those born in the country – we have the greatest ever cyclist Eddie Merckx, the frighteningly glamorous Audrey Hepburn, Hergé and his adventures of Tintin and even Hercule Poirot and his little grey cells. Then we have the national foodstuffs which seem to consist mainly of the finest quality chocolate, an abundance of frites, (with mayonnaise naturally – “They fuckin’ drown ’em in that shit”), over five hundred varieties of beer and of course the awfully versatile waffle – I’m sure that the moules are lovely too however I was able to avoid that particular ‘treat’.
Then finally we learn about their ability to manage their county without an elected government, (which to be fair we also have in the UK eh ?), since the 13th June 2010 – taking the record from that other hotbed of stability Iraq.
So what’s not to like ?
Our visit was a relatively short one with a few days in the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is Bruges. And a very pleasant time was had.
The few days that we were there saw us wander at will marvelling at the abundance and variety of tourists. We took the obligatory tour of the city via boat, (rather than horse), resulting in an unexpected fish attack and an introduction to the most photographed dog in Europe, (no I didn’t). We wondered why the bell had been embraced so readily by the many cyclists throughout the town but not the safety helmet. And personally speaking I was very impressed by the advances in supermarket infrastructure that we in Britain can only dream about . . .
Bruges is an inordinately pretty place but I have to say you do wonder whether those locals not prepared to behave in a certain manner are locked in a cage on the outskirts of town and to be frank had we dallied any longer I fear I may have been asked to join them.
Filed under: Travel | 1 Comment
Tags: Audrey Hepburn, Belgium, Bruges, Eddie Merckx, Hergé, Tintin, UNESCO