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6 days in Belgium visiting daughter on study abroad

6 days in Belgium visiting daughter on study abroad

Sep 17th, 2012, 06:53 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2012
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6 days in Belgium visiting daughter on study abroad

My husband and I have 6 days to be with our daughter during her 1 week break. We are traveling that last week in October and beginning of November. She is studying in Brussels and is taking an Art class where she travels to Tournai, Bruge, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Paris, and World War I battlefields in Northern France near Amien. My brother and his family is meeting us at the airport, they are from Edinburgh,and traveling to Bruge for 2 days and then flying home. We are going to Ghent for 1 night. I have looked at the trains and have been looking at where to go from Ghent and I am at a loss. I looked at Dinant but Wed/Thurs has few options for food and seems like the wrong time of year. I would like to minimize the travel with as few switching of trains but want to make the most of our short time. I am a high school art teacher, hence Ghent for van Eyck's altarpiece, my husband is a foodie, so art and food would be interests. Thought about Antwerp, Rubens, back to Brussels, Art Nouveau and Magritte, but daughter will have spent 4 months stationed there so don't want to redo everything she may have done. Any suggestions would be helpful I have to book 3 nights but the last night I want to be in Brussels or at the airport for the early plane on Saturday.
RDtraveling is offline  
Sep 17th, 2012, 07:12 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
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For a while Van Eyck's altarpiece was having some restoration work, so check to see it will be on view in October.

Antwerpen is such a great town for food, beer and art, plus fun places for young people, perhaps your daughter will be willing to indulge you with a revisit.

Be sure to take in the Horta House (museum) if you end up with extra time in Brussels.

How about Liege? Or a brief trip into Paris? It is very nearby, and if you go in knowing you only have a little bit of time and have the right mindset about that, you could spend some lovely time together, eating well and cherry-picking a few select sights.

So my suggestion would be sometime in Antwerp and some time in Paris, and Brussels.
pizzocchieri is offline  
Sep 17th, 2012, 05:54 PM
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Brussels is certainly worth a day or two on its own and it would be fun to see it through the eyes of a new resident. Why don't you ask her? She might be pleased to show off the city to her proud parents.
Southam is offline  
Sep 18th, 2012, 01:46 PM
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Are you staying 2 nights in Bruges and one night in Ghent? If so, and you want to be in Brussels for the last night, you may want to consider staying in Brussels to avoid too many more check-ins and check-outs.

If your daughter doesn't want to show you around Brussels or go back to places she's already been, you could do easy day trips from Brussels to Lille and Leuven.

I love Lille but don't hear too much about it on this board. It has beautiful buildings, including an impressive Grand Place and the charming Vieux Lille (the older part of town with cobblestone streets and neat shops), the renowned Palais des Beaux Arts museum, and good food, including several very good pastry shops. The Musee de la Piscine in Roubaix, a very short train ride from Lille, is also neat. It's a museum in a building housing an old Art Deco pool --although the pool is a focal point, it has a rather diverse collection of paintings, sculpture, and other decorative arts. http://www.roubaix-lapiscine.com/

It might be a lot to visit Lille and the museum in Roubaix all in one day so you could consider an overnight in Lille, too.

Leuven is a nice university town with some impressive buildings and is nice for a low key day of wandering around.

I like Dinant, but it is fairly small and I like it best in the summer. You could consider Namur, which has a bit more to do and also has a citadel from which there are nice views.

There are other places you could consider, too, but these are a few of the easier to get to places from Brussels that are interesting.

Enjoy your trip!
Coll is offline  
Sep 18th, 2012, 03:34 PM
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We enjoyed day trips to Antwerp, Leuven, Mechelen and Tournai when we visited Brussels last fall. My trip report describes all of these plus some of the lesser-known areas of Brussels.
Vttraveler is online now  
Sep 18th, 2012, 05:56 PM
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There are even some small trips closer to Brussels you might like, such as the castle at Gaasbeek. If you are interested in World War I history Ieper (Ypres) is interesting. I am not such a big fan of Liège, but Namur or Spa are in the same direction. And I am a big fan of the Ardennes in summer (Dinant, La Roche-en-Ardenne, Bouillon), but only if you have a car (part of the charm is wandering from place to place). Also Leuven and Lille are pretty. Even Luxembourg would be a good destination.

lavandula is online now  
Sep 18th, 2012, 05:59 PM
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Forgot to say, anywhere in Belgium is brilliant if you are a foodie - even off the beaten track!

lavandula is online now  
Oct 3rd, 2012, 02:33 AM
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The Vaneyck altar piece has been removed for a 5 year restoration period;Lots of art to see in Antwerp.Rubens house,Cathedral......
tovarich is offline  
Oct 9th, 2012, 10:59 AM
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The altarpiece must have been removed recently. We saw it in May. Guess we were very lucky
Davero is offline  
Oct 19th, 2012, 03:54 PM
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Lots of great suggestions, I am very sad that the Ghent altarpiece has been removed for a 5 year restoration, that was my main draw for Ghent! I'm sure I'll find other interesting art, but I have always been drawn to the altarpiece, on the art teacher part of me list! We wanted to go to Michelen to the Kazerne Dossin Museum however the museum is closed until the end of November when the new museum opens, we will still go to Fort Breendonk, if you've gone I'd be interested in your thoughts.
At this point we are staying mainly in the Flanders region with 2 in Bruge, 1 in Ghent, 1 in Antwerp (Rubens), and 2 in Brussels then the 2 traveling days which I won't count. I thank all who have posted I will let you know how the trip goes and the diversions, often the best part, of the trip.
RDtraveling is offline  
Oct 19th, 2012, 04:39 PM
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According to St. Bavo's website, the restoration will begin Fall 2012 but all panels will be on display in the cathedral except the panel that's being restored at that time.

They are also trying to arrange a viewing area where the piece is being restored... so you can also see the panel under current restoration.

Have a great trip! Loved Brugge and Ghent! Liked Antwerp, not so much Brussels.

Lucky daughter!
joannyc is online now  
Oct 19th, 2012, 04:54 PM
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Great news, joannyc, thank you, you have definately made my day with your update on the altarpiece!
RDtraveling is offline  

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