Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent


Antwerp is in the Flemish part of Belgium along with Ghent and Bruges. We were advised not to speak French there, but to speak English instead.  Language is very sensitive here because of  tensions between the French and Flemish parts of the country. Lucky for me, I can’t speak French or Flemish anyway.

Antwerp had a lot of shopping and diamond stores. It was beautiful and  fun but not worth more than a day trip. We saw a castle and the largest cathedral in Belgium. We had frites for lunch and were back in our flats by early evening.

My favorite part was the train station, which was very ornate especially compared to downtown Chicago.
While we were in Bruges we went to dozens of small shops. The majority of them were chocolate shops and one with nothing but  speculoos. Speculoos is a gingerbread/shortbread like cookie that also comes as paste and in tiramisu. It is delicious. Pretty much all we did the entire day was shop and sample sweets.
Ghent was nice but pretty uneventful. We saw a few cathedrals and climbed the 200+  stairs to the top of the clock tower to view the city.