Erin Explores

by Erin Elaine

Belgium (Antwerp, Gent, Bruges) July 2013

ANTWERP

I came to Antwerp to see the place my grandfather was stationed during WWII. The town center is still pretty well preserved, so it likely looked almost identical as when he was here. I wish he had lived long enough to see pictures of me here, he probably would have gotten a kick out of that.

Antwerp Train Station - opened in 1905

Antwerp Train Station – opened in 1905

This building probably looked identical when my grandfather was here.

This building probably looked identical when my grandfather was here.

The city center:

Belgian architecture

Belgian architecture

What a weird fountain! The water is coming out of his dis-attached hand which he is preparing to throw with his other hand....

What a weird fountain! The water is coming out of his dis-attached hand which he is preparing to throw with his other hand….

The belfry (bell tower) - it didn't just ring the hour, it played a whole song.

The belfry (bell tower) – it didn’t just ring the hour, it played a whole song.

While wandering by the river, I happened upon this:

What is it?

What is it?

A plaque honoring the US Army soldiers that defended the city against the buzz bombs in WWII. My grandpa always talked about this battle, I guess it was pretty memorable for him.

A plaque honoring the US Army soldiers that defended the city against the buzz bombs in WWII. My grandpa always talked about this battle, I guess it was pretty memorable for him.

It's nice to know there's a plaque an ocean away honoring my grandfather and the others that fought in WWII.

It’s nice to know there’s a plaque an ocean away honoring my grandfather and the others that fought in WWII.

More of Antwerp:

GENT:

While I was visiting, the Gent Music Festival was happening. It was really cool to see!

First, the town:

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Some pictures from the festival:

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Some of the delicious food I ate:

Belgian waffles! Delicious!

Belgian waffles! Delicious!

Fries with  stoofvlees sauce. YUM! It's a meaty gravy and I loved it! I want to come back to Belgium just for this.

Fries with stoofvlees sauce. YUM! It’s a meaty gravy and I loved it! I want to come back to Belgium just for this.

More from Gent:

BRUGES

Bruges is a cute little town with a few canals, a cute mean square, and a few pretty parks with resident swans.

The attractive main square and bellfry:

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The bellfry, or belltower. Every hour it plays a short song.

The bellfry, or belltower. Every hour it plays a short song.


Above are the inner workings of the bellfry. It’s like a music box, with the circular drum triggering various bells to play a song every hour. Every now and then they move the pins to create a new song.

View from the top of the bellfry.

View from the top of the bellfry.

View from the top of the bellfry.

View from the top of the bellfry.

A beautiful park, fountains and swans and all. Nice and quiet and peaceful.

A beautiful park, fountains and swans and all. Nice and quiet and peaceful.

More views of the city:

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Belgian chocolate is the best I've tasted!!

Belgian chocolate is the best I’ve tasted!!

I spent my evening at a beer tasting, where we got to taste 6 different Belgian ales, about a third of a glass of each, then at the end we could choose our favorite and have a full glass. Not a bad bargain for 10 euros!

The thick head preserves the carbonation of the beer.

The thick head preserves the carbonation of the beer.

Then, I spent the rest of the evening with my new friends from the beer tasting, drinking more and talking into the early hours of the morning.

More pictures from Bruges:

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One comment on “Belgium (Antwerp, Gent, Bruges) July 2013

  1. Traveling Cats
    November 23, 2013

    So, which Belgian city was your favorite? Tourists always want to go to Bruges, but I think Gent is just as pretty. And for some reason, the French part of Belgium always gets neglected, while this is actually the prettiest.

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This entry was posted on November 21, 2013 by in Architecture, Belgium, Culture, Family, Food, Travel, UNESCO and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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