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Archive for belgium

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?

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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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A Magic Carpet in Belgium

By Linda Tancs

Every two years in Brussels an array of colorful begonias graces Grand-Place in the form of a giant Flower Carpet.  This year marks the fourteenth happening of this horticultural phenomenon, opening this weekend to the public from 13 to 15 August, preceded on 12 August by a fireworks display at 10 p.m. celebrating a day of construction of this floral masterpiece by over 100 volunteers.  This year’s arrangement honors the Belgian presidency of the Council of the European Union, with the EU logo appearing in the carpet’s center.  Surrounding that design are locally relevant images like patron Saint Michael slaying the dragon, the region’s emblem of blue and yellow iris and depictions of the city’s striking Gothic architecture.  Be sure to view the work from the balcony of the Hotel de Ville between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. 

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A Fête in Belgium

By Linda Tancs

July 21 is National Day in Belgium, marking the day on which Leopold I took the constitutional oath as the first King of Belgium on this date in 1831 following the country’s independence from the Netherlands. For those lucky enough to have arrived for the opening of the urban Brussels Beach (Bruxelles les Bains), today’s events from 10 a.m. till midnight include merry makers parading in the capital amidst streets filled with black, yellow and red flags, music, theatre, an army exhibition at Place Poelaert and an arts and crafts market on the Rue de la Régence. That’s enough entertainment to keep you busy until the fireworks over the Royal Palace.

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