TB and I spent six days in Belgium. We flew from Seattle to D.C. (Dulles) to Brussels on United. We stayed at the Sofitel Europe located in the outskirts of Brussels and did a couple day trips to the center of the city and to the Flemish town of Bruges. French is the primary language followed by Flemish/Dutch and German. Most of the people we encountered spoke enough English to communicate with us and a couple times my semester’s worth of high school French paid off. For example, TB was all amazed when I was able to request two 3-day train passes from the agent who spoke no English. (Shout out to Madame Duffy who taught us to écouter et répétez. 🙂 )
With the significant French and Italian influences, Belgian dining was sublime. Of course the chocolate and waffles were top notch but so too were the frites, pizza, sandwiches and smoked salmon. The most memorable heavenly dining experience was the scoop of Belgian chocolate ice cream from a shop that was literally a Häagen-Dazs combined with a Godiva.
I took a couple dozen pictures during our trip a few of which have been scattered throughout this post. The black-and-white image is of a Brandenberg-esque monument located in a colossal public park a few blocks from the Sofitel in Brussels. The park is over 1 1/2 miles around its perimeter which made it a perfect spot for doing a six mile run. There were a few moments of showers while we were in Belgium but it never rained long or a large amount. The temperature ranged between mid-60s to upper 70s and we were fine with light jackets.
Overall, Belgium is a fine place with fine dining, mild weather and friendly people. I would go back as part of an extended trip that includes a couple of its neighbors (France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands).