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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Road Trip to Belgium

It all started with a concert. Alexandra wanted to see a show of Within Temptation's latest tour. Unfortunately, they only played in Holland and Belgium. After synchronizing our calendars we decided to go to Antwerpen for the show. And since it is so far we might as well enjoy ourselves and see some more things on the way.

Our first stop was Cologne (Germany), because Subway to Sally was giving one of their rare acoustic concerts there (we would have missed the show in Switzerland because of our trip). And it was well worth the small detour, they played an awesome gig which lasted almost 2.5 hours! Thanks to our friends we got an address of a cool game store in the neighborhood. I was overwhelmed by their selection and even saw some of the games which I painstakingly imported from the US years earlier! Obviously, I couldn't leave the store without "some" souvenirs ;).

Next was Brussels, a must see according to the guidebooks. Well the first thing we saw was the famous traffic congestion, which led us to leave the highway and take the less traveled route "cross-country". That led us through some very charming towns. Anyways, we weren't too thrilled by Brussels itself, too many tourists not that many beautiful buildings, and so we left after only two hours.

After a couple of hours driving we stopped in a nearby town and hit a gold-mine. The town was Mechelen and absolutely beautiful. Almost no tourists, lots of things to see and amazing food :)

The next day we reached Antwerpen, the original reason for our journey. After checking into a stunningly charming bed and breakfast, we made a short trip through the city visiting the shopping district and the old town center. Within Temptation's concert was mainly acoustic, which I liked a lot, with a couple of rockier songs.

On we went to Bruges, a city I wanted to visit because I loved the movie In Bruges, and we were not disappointed. Even though there were many tourists the city was big enough to get away from the crowds and enjoy the feel of the place. A must-see if you are in Belgium!

Overnight we stayed in Oudenaarde, a small town with a nice city center, but not much else.

On our long way back we made a detour through Luxembourg to visit Vianden, a small town with a castle. The drive accross Luxembourg was stunning and one of the highlights of the whole trip! Awesome landscapes and forests!

Our last stop was Colmar in the Alsace region, a charming medieval city, which serves delicious Tarte Flambée.

Overall a fantastic trip which will long remain in my fond memories.

All pictures can be found in my web album.

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