Thursday, April 19, 2018

Exploring The Cities Of Bruges, Ghent And Antwerp, Belgium.....

As our current house sit in Belgium came to an end a few days ago we bid farewell to our lovely hosts and hit the road for more sightseeing. Our goal was to explore the further away towns of Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp, Belgium. From the quiet little countryside town of Soumagne we landed in the popular tourist destination of Bruges.

                                                      The Picturesque City Of Bruges, Belgium

First stop was our hotel that sat perched high along the river in a lovely brick facade that is undergoing a face lift. While it was too early to check-in we put our luggage in the storage closet and headed out into the streets to see the town. Literally hundreds to thousands of tourists filled the streets of this gorgeous, riverside town and we began our trek through the cobble stoned lanes dodging people at every step along the way.

Since waterfront towns are best seen from a boat, we quickly made our way into one of the many tourist boats for a tour down the river. After that we walked around the city taking in the sights of medieval architecture, churches, plazas and more while the smells of Belgium waffles and chocolate filled our noses.

The next day we left Bruges and drove about 45-mniutes to the city of Ghent. Several people we had talked to in our travels including our Belgium friend from Texas, told us that while Ghent was similar to Bruges, it was more natural with far less tourists. Indeed, Ghent offered all that and more and we did enjoy it being less touristy and more of a real city, instead of just a tourist destination. Once again we took to the river for a narrated tour of the history of the city that was delightful.  Then we walked around this charming city, taking in the sights, sounds and smells that we have come to love.

The City Of Ghent, Belgium

                                                    Far Less Tourists, Still As Lovely

The next day found us in Antwerp, a port city on Belgium's river Scheldt with history dating back to the middle ages. The city center has long been known as a Diamond District for many centuries and still today there are plenty of shops offering the little gems. As in many European cities, Antwerp features a main square called Grote Markt in the old town. Lined with Flemish Renaissance-styled architecture and a huge fountain in the center, the marketplace is the place to sit and have a drink while watching people go by. Works of Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens can be seen around the town, especially in the Cathedral of Our Lady.

                                                       The City Of Antwerp, Belgium

Tomorrow we are leaving Belgium and headed into the Netherlands to explore the Hague and Amsterdam, for more travel adventures.....along the gringo trail.

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