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Rea View Searching for warmth and calm

Belgium - Beer and Beauty

BELGIUM | Wednesday, 28 September 2011 | Views [549]

The heat wave continues and everybody is out and about. Cyclists of all ages come from all angles - one must watch out! Stopping at a North Sea beach at Oostende and then off to lovely Brugge for a romantic evening stroll through its medieval and magical streets. Winding cobblestone lanes leading us astray, and away from the gathering crowds.

Immediately upon our arrival in Gent, "couchsurfer" host Michael has us out exploring, enthusiastically describing the local history. Gent is awash in architectural splendour. The hot sun drives us to Belgian beers again and again, drinking our way down the list of 400 varieties. Whoa! North Americans beware - Belgian beer boasts alcohol contents between 8% and 13%, with Trappist varieties the highest.

Up to Antwerp, where we enjoy a respite from the hordes of tourists. Antwerp has some treasures as well, especially at its fabulous St Paul's Church.

After a few days in Holland, our GPS takes us straight into the heart of Brussel. Now that was a crazy rush hour traffic circle. A walk about the central square and park was our choice over the museum - after Amsterdam's Rijks and Van Gogh museums we were filled to the brim with visions of beauty and masterstrokes.

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