Friday, October 17, 2014

Of Comic capers and Chocolate fantasies!

Chocolates, comics, beer and diamonds, Flanders, the Northern region of Belgium, strikes the cord with each member of a family, ensuring a holiday that leaves its memories for years altogether.

Missing the adventure that travel adds to life? Let the master of adventure, Tintin, be your guide as you set out on a voyage that encapsulates the thrill of comics, the whiff of freshly-baked waffles, the aroma of chocolates, the glitter of the diamonds, the drama of medieval architecture and the romance of the canals. Flanders, the northern region of Belgium, is Europe's best preserved secret that is waiting to be unraveled!

Step into this exciting region through Brussels, the country’s capital and also called the Gateway to Europe. Here Tintin and countless other comic strip heroes adorn the walls in larger-than-life murals spread across town. The Comic Strip Museum tells you all about Belgian’s infatuation with these figments of imagination. Perhaps even more famous, and a glorious example of Belgian humour, is Manneken Pis, the bizarre little statue of a peeing boy. It is the most popular tourist attraction in Brussels, just off the Grand Place, and is a true cultural icon. Later, head out to the miniature theme-park Mini Europe, where all of Europe’s grandest sights and magnificent buildings are overcast by the shadow of the iconic Atomium.

Belgium's second largest city, Antwerp has always been a hotbed of creativity. View over 7000 pieces of artworks by the great Flemish masters like Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Van Eyck at Rubenshuis and the Fine Arts museum. Later, get up close and personal with the penguins and rare animals like Okapis at the Antwerp Zoo, the oldest one in the world. Get mystified by the glitter of the diamonds in Antwerp, also known as the world's capital for diamonds. And end the day with a relaxed stroll along the river Scheldt.

Also along the water, and named in fact after the many bridges that cross its canals, the city of Bruges is a romantic highlight. With a historic city centre that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bruges is the best preserved example of medieval Flanders. This picture postcard perfect city sets the backdrop for one to say those precious words to their beloved alongside the Lake of Love, in the company of swans that gracefully glide by. But there’s more to Bruges than meets the eye: the fragrance of chocolates, pralines and truffles linger in its air with the countless artisan chocolate shops spread around the city. Allow this fragrance to intoxicate you and enchant your senses. Or happily get your hands dirty and make some chocolates yourself at a chocolate-making workshop at Choco Story. Another quirky museum that’s a must-see must-eat experience is the Fries Museum in Bruges. The best way to end your visit is, of course, to try this local delicacy.

Nearby Ghent is the hidden gem in Belgium’s crown and is known as the veggie capital of Europe. This vibrant city strikes a marvelous balance between historical atmosphere and vibrant youthfulness. Just blend in and enjoy some of the city's rare beers as you watch the sun go down at the Graslei. Experience the best of Belgian beers with a visit to the Gruut Brewery, the only brewery that brews with spices instead of hops. Also, climb the bell tower for the most spectacular view of this historic city – but do so before the beer sinks into your legs, as it is a steep climb up!

Each city of Flanders is brimming with quaint medieval squares, tree-lined canals, gorgeous architectural facades and friendly outdoor cafes. Stroll by on foot, in a horse-drawn carriage, by boat ride, or just pedal your way on a bicycle through the cities.

A visit to the quirky museums will leave you thrilled, and Flemish fashion and design will satiate your need for style as you hit the shops. Spoil yourself with a sample of sumptuous Flemish cuisine paired with a hand-crafted beer. Flanders is an exhilarating getaway for a fun-filled family holiday.

No comments:

Post a Comment