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Archive for belgium

The 2015 European Capitals of Culture

By Linda Tancs

Welcome to a new year and two new European Union capitals of culture:  Mons in Belgium and Pilsen in the Czech Republic.  The major exhibitions in Mons feature Van Gogh’s emergence as an artist in the Borinage, the poetic metamorphosis of Paul Verlaine, and the Battle of Lumecon in the main square where St. George slays the dragon.  The opening ceremony for Mons 2015 will be held on 24 January.  Like Mons, Pilsen will promote great personalities associated with the city, like Jiří Trnka (the Walt Disney of the East), Ladislav Sutnar (a pioneer in information graphics) and the architecture of Adolf Loos.  The festivities officially launch in Pilsen on 17 January.

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The Belgian Coast Tram

By Linda Tancs

Belgium’s Kusttram (Coast Tram) is the longest single-path tram line in the world, gliding between De Panne and Knokke on the Flemish coast.  It’s convenient (a connection every 20 minutes), which means that you have no excuse not to explore the many holiday romps along its 43-mile trek.  Did you know that Knokke was a favorite among the Hollywood elite like Frank Sinatra and Marlene Dietrich?

A Gutsy Hotel in Belgium

By Linda Tancs

Ever wonder what Jonah must have experienced when he got swallowed by the whale?  You might get a sense of that at Hotel Casanus, a one-room hotel shaped like a giant intestine.  Located at Verbeke Foundation Art Park near Antwerp, Belgium, this colonoscopic wonder features a double bed, windows, heating, and working plumbing in a pastoral setting.   You’ll have all the creature comforts of home, *butt* do you have the guts to stay there?

World War Museum Opens

By Linda Tancs

In Bastogne, Belgium, thousands of soldiers died in WWII during the Battle of the Bulge.  Their valor is commemorated at the Bastogne War Museum.  Opening tomorrow, this new museum will feature interactive exhibits dedicated to the battle and World War II.

New Flower Show in Brussels

By Linda Tancs

Brussels believes in flower power.  In addition to the Flower Carpet that graces the Grand Palace in even-numbered years, the city has plugged the odd-numbered years’ gap with a new show for those years.  Today through 18 August, Floraliëntime debuts with a major international plant and flower arrangement event in Brussels City Hall and at the Grand Place.  The inaugural theme is “Colors of Life.”  With 100,000 flowers adorning City Hall, you can be assured of that.

A Distinctive Hue in Brussels

By Linda Tancs

Most hotels pander to your palate.  In Brussels, though, the Pantone Hotel caters to your palette.   This hotel of colors features a distinctive hue on each guest floor.  Feeling a little blue?  There’s a suite just for you.

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Tipping the Tankard in Belgium

By Linda Tancs

The oft-quoted comment that beer is proof that God loves us is often attributed (erroneously) to U.S. founding father Ben Franklin.  Nonetheless, it’s a sentiment heartily espoused in Belgium, particularly during Belgian Beer Weekend on the Grand Place.  Taking place from 3 to 5 September, the event features some 240 kinds of Belgian beer.  Surely you’ll find something to suit your palate among the pils, amber, white, trappist, abbey, geuze, fruit, strong pale, strong brown, red-brown, regional or assorted sundries.  Cheers!

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