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Started by limegreen on Jun 8, 2022 11:18:44 AM
The Low Countries

Thinking of a week by train around Ghent, Brussels, Liege, Luxembourg, Antwerp, The Hague. Not sure on details. Does anyone have useful thoughts about what might make a good base, what has good connections etc?

All via public transport. We like nice food, museums, history and some of us won't want to walk too far. But okay getting around town, just no long hikes.

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InternationalVicar - 08 Jun 2022 12:22:12 (#1 of 42)

I'd say Antwerp is very connected, and the station itself is remarkable. Fast trains everywhere and slow trains to the more obscure of Flemish destinations. Lots of history and art, a bit scruffy. Not touristy yet nice to walk around the middle. Rubenshuis is where David Bowie keeps his art collection now he's gone. The Museum an de Stroom at the harbour is a great example of how to spend so much money in the modern museum way that makes it near pointless. https://mas.be/en/content/about-mas-0

Brussels is obviously very well connected but I'd avoid it as too big, too rich, too much walking and generally too horrible, after you've done the Grote Markt. Others will disagree for the sake of it.

If you need to revise your flemish culture or get ideas you could do worse than these two old but good vids:(Jonathan Meades).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dswe0eyf9ws

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw6J9bYQ4XY

Always wanted to visit the Royal Central Africa Museum in Teurven, which looks amazing, but is probably now so PC it's no fun at all. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tervuren

n.b. Luxembourg is miles away from the rest.

Dayraven - 08 Jun 2022 14:48:49 (#2 of 42)

Antwerp's cathedral is worth seeing (though the exhibition of paintings they had when I was there will have gone, I think), and the Rubenhuis. I also liked the Plantin-Moretus Museum, which is a history of printing.

In Ghent, St. Bavo's church has a major van Eyck alterpiece, and Gravensteen is an interesting medieval castle.

Grazioli09 - 08 Jun 2022 14:55:08 (#3 of 42)

Zeeland is a beautiful place to visit, Middelburg particularly

AlanII - 08 Jun 2022 15:00:43 (#4 of 42)

Luxembourg is miles away from the rest.

Quite near to Liege, but it would be a rush to fit it in to a week. Also, the train network is good here, but you'd really need a car to see the good bits.

Lento_ - 08 Jun 2022 16:07:41 (#5 of 42)

Brussels is obviously very well connected but I'd avoid it as too big, too rich, too much walking and generally too horrible, after you've done the Grote Markt. Others will disagree for the sake of it.



I'll disagree, but because it's not actually that bad.

It's definitely not the prettiest city I've ever been to, but it's also a long way from being the worst, and there's more than one nice bit to it.

limegreen - 08 Jun 2022 15:38:51 (#6 of 42)

Worth the odd taxi once in Luxembourg? We'll be a group, so can split the cost. We thought we might do an overnight.

FGBFGB - 08 Jun 2022 18:14:04 (#7 of 42)

I've never been to Luxembourg, but Isn't the capital quite hilly? Maybe worth bearing in mind if people don't walk very far.

widenation - 08 Jun 2022 19:14:26 (#8 of 42)

Ghent or Antwerp good bases I'd have thought. Think I'd go for the latter though.

Ghent: SMAK - Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art, Design Museum (appears closed at moment), also worth a nose around NV Zebrastraat. Beautiful City.

Antwerp: Museum aan de Stroom, Museum of Modern Art - also the Middelheim Sculpture Park - a short tram journey.https://middelheimmuseum.be/en

I'd also consider Rotterdam.

InternationalVicar - 08 Jun 2022 18:18:02 (#9 of 42)

Doesn't Luxembourg have free public transport?

AlanII - 08 Jun 2022 18:23:11 (#10 of 42)

Worth the odd taxi once in Luxembourg? We'll be a group, so can split the cost. We thought we might do an overnight.

That would be incredibly costly.

Doesn't Luxembourg have free public transport?

Yes, but that doesn't cover Taxis. If you do go there, restrict yourself to the city itself, but frankly, you have more interesting options available in other places.

Shadrack22 - 08 Jun 2022 20:42:57 (#11 of 42)

I went to Luxembourg City in 2004 and was charmed. Not many tourists. A very walkable city. Don’t remember taking any public transport, except the Petrusse Express.

mingmong - 08 Jun 2022 20:56:11 (#12 of 42)

Luxembourg has a brilliant origin story. Nothing about warriors or heroes or anything, but rather some Arch-Duke or somesuch getting stuck in the rain in about 1783, and deciding that the muddy shit-hole that was keeping him half-dry should become Luxembourg. And so it was.

I might be misremembering.

mingmong - 08 Jun 2022 20:59:22 (#13 of 42)

Looks like I was misremembering.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxembourg#Emergence
_and_expansion_of_the_County_of_Luxemburg_(963%E2%8
0%931312)


Its the usual shite. Carolignian statelet, somehow remained unabsorbed.

mingmong - 08 Jun 2022 21:01:59 (#14 of 42)

That pissed Luxembourger who gave Blair a wedgie that time. Wossisname.

Shadrack22 - 08 Jun 2022 21:05:22 (#15 of 42)

Jean-Claude Juncker?

mingmong - 08 Jun 2022 21:12:19 (#16 of 42)

That's the boy.

Can't remember whether he's still extant.

Shadrack22 - 08 Jun 2022 21:30:46 (#17 of 42)

Younger than you might think - only 67. Probably enjoying a good claret and a cigar right now somewhere in the Benelux region.

InternationalVicar - 08 Jun 2022 20:41:27 (#18 of 42)

He's at least as responsible for Brexit as Vlad, Cameron, Obama or Farage.

Ironically, the subject of Farage's original "damp rag" speech, EU Commisioner Herman van Rompuy, appears to be something of a good egg, at least for someone rich enough to own a bank in Antwerp.

artant - 08 Jun 2022 20:51:52 (#19 of 42)

My knowledge of the Low Countries is very limited but I’d second the recommendation of SMAK in Gent; the design museum there is good too but it’s closed for building works.

In the Netherlands, if you happen to be anywhere near Eindhoven, the Van Abbemuseum is excellent.

mingmong - 08 Jun 2022 21:55:36 (#20 of 42)

If you go to the NL in the spring, Keukenhof is gorgeous

https://keukenhof.nl/en/

website doesn't really do it justice

looks and feels more like this

https://media.tacdn.com/media/attractions-splice-spp-674x446/0b/27/42/01.jpg

and this

https://cdn-imgix.headout.com/tour/30802/TOUR-IMAGE/86985da0-00bb-49e0-811f-a6f1128dea6e-molentulpen.jpg?auto=compress%2Cformat&h=573&a
mp;q=75&fit=crop&ar=14%3A9&fm=webp


Nowhere else quite like it on earth.

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