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2012-11-19 2:07 PM

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Subject: Brussels- what to do?

I am planning a spring bike tour in Europe.  Before the official tour begins (Brussels to Bruges), we will do some sightseeing in The Netherlands and then head to Brussels.

How much time do I really "need" in Brussels specifically? What is there to do? Will one full day cover most things?

Keep in mind we're spending the whole week in Belgium, so plenty of time to eat chocolate and fries, drink beer, etc.   I planned on getting to Brussels at least one full day early, but can do more if I should.

I know very little about Belgium other than it's really difficult to pronounce Dutch words.  Fortunately we have extra time in Bruges, which I think will be interesting. 



2012-11-19 2:23 PM
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Subject: RE: Brussels- what to do?

Flemish, not Ducth.  They speak Flemish (as well as English, Frnech, German, Dutch and others) in Belgium.

I can email my friends (former Delhaize co-workers) and get a list of cool places to visit in Brussels.  Although knowing them, beer will be involved in each and every one!

 

2012-11-19 2:35 PM
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Subject: RE: Brussels- what to do?
Bigfuzzydoug - 2012-11-19 2:23 PM

Flemish, not Ducth.  They speak Flemish (as well as English, Frnech, German, Dutch and others) in Belgium.

I can email my friends (former Delhaize co-workers) and get a list of cool places to visit in Brussels.  Although knowing them, beer will be involved in each and every one!

I had this discussion with my husband too.  Flemish is a dialect of Dutch, the official language is Dutch. Either way, it's impossible to understand.   I learned German in high school/college and so far it's not really helping. I also don't know much French (other than "un pain au chocolat, sil vous plait") so I'm pretty lost.

I'd love a list of cool places, if you don't mind!

2012-11-19 2:40 PM
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Subject: RE: Brussels- what to do?
Watch the movie "In Bruges"... DON'T do what they do.
2012-11-19 2:56 PM
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Subject: RE: Brussels- what to do?
BikerGrrrl - 2012-11-19 3:35 PM
Bigfuzzydoug - 2012-11-19 2:23 PM

Flemish, not Ducth.  They speak Flemish (as well as English, Frnech, German, Dutch and others) in Belgium.

I can email my friends (former Delhaize co-workers) and get a list of cool places to visit in Brussels.  Although knowing them, beer will be involved in each and every one!

I had this discussion with my husband too.  Flemish is a dialect of Dutch, the official language is Dutch. Either way, it's impossible to understand.   I learned German in high school/college and so far it's not really helping. I also don't know much French (other than "un pain au chocolat, sil vous plait") so I'm pretty lost.

I'd love a list of cool places, if you don't mind!

My Flemish extends to three very important phrases (and in this order):

"Nog een bierke alsjeblieft."  (I'll have another beer please.)

"Waar is het toilet aub?"  (Where is the bathrroom?)

"gertz"  (Thank you)

Tongue out

2012-11-19 3:01 PM
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Subject: RE: Brussels- what to do?

My great grandmother (who was from Belgium) spoke walloon, which is almost nonexistent these days. She also spoke Dutch and English, and probably god knows what else, but Walloon was what made her a bit different. :-)

Pat goes to Benelux for work quite frequently...I'll see if he has any tips!



2012-11-19 3:05 PM
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Subject: RE: Brussels- what to do?
Bruges is great, out riding along the canals, Jupiler beer in teh square with a late lunch..   mmmmmmmm
2012-11-19 3:07 PM
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Subject: RE: Brussels- what to do?
Beer, ham sandwiches, chocolate, waffles, diamonds, lace, beer, beer and beer. Great city. Oh, did I mention beer? There is a museum to beer in the grand place. Yeah, beer...
2012-11-19 3:24 PM
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Subject: RE: Brussels- what to do?
There is a chocolate museum there, too. They had a lifesize chocolate statue of President Obama. Also, a french fry store/museum.

It's a fun city - take a carriage ride. Eat lots of chocolate and fries, as you've noted. You don't need that many days there. There is an old castle/fort near a plaza (imagine that) and the plaza usually has something going on. One trip I was mesmerized by Tibetan throat singing there. Go see the Battle of the Bulge museum.

Take a train to another town and spend a day there. As it's a cycling trip - you might hit Liege if you aren't going to go there on the tour.
2012-11-19 3:31 PM
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over a barrier
Subject: RE: Brussels- what to do?
I just started researching a trip to Belgium for next winter to watch as many cross races as I can!

I'm of no help though, yet
2012-11-19 3:36 PM
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Subject: RE: Brussels- what to do?
you will have a hard time finding someone who does not speak good English. Do yourself a favor and visit Dumon Chocolate in Bruges. Have Fun!!


2012-11-19 3:36 PM
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Subject: RE: Brussels- what to do?

running2far - 2012-11-19 3:31 PM I just started researching a trip to Belgium for next winter to watch as many cross races as I can! I'm of no help though, yet

We ALMOST went on a tour that including watching the Tour of Flanders including the chance to ride the course the day before (apparently this is a deal).  It sounds SO SO fun, but I eventually chickened out on the distances/terrain.  I would have loved to do it though.

2012-11-19 3:37 PM
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Subject: RE: Brussels- what to do?

C F - 2012-11-19 3:36 PM you will have a hard time finding someone who does not speak good English. Do yourself a favor and visit Dumon Chocolate in Bruges. Have Fun!!

Yeah, I was thinking that getting help in English, ordering, etc, would be fine. But it's hard to navigate, for instance, with the street names being so long and crazy. 

So basically we'll be doing a lot of eating...  We should probably ride bikes from Amsterdam to Brussels instead of taking the train to start out trip, yikes!

2012-11-19 4:51 PM
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Subject: RE: Brussels- what to do?

Make sure to have mussels.  The mussels in Brussels turned me into a mussel fan.  Chez Leon is an institution.

The Grand Place is beautiful, and Brussels is full of amazing architecture.  Lots of gorgeous cathedrals, plazas, and museums: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g188644-Activities-Brussels.html#TtD

Mannequin Pis is cute and worth a walk-by to see what he is wearing on a given day.

2012-11-21 8:53 AM
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Subject: RE: Brussels- what to do?

Beer, chocolate, frites, Mussels. 

Then there's this

 

More Dutch than Belgian, but I bet you could find one, why you'd want to is another story

 

Frikandel Deep-fried sausage, slit open and filled with mayonaisse, covered with "curry sauce" and onions. Dutch pub food, tasty with a beer, but massively unhealthy.

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