Trip Report

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Trip Report

Frozen Magic

Discovering cities in the cold

by borntravelerAtlasGuru Contributor

Belgium, Netherlands7 days / January 2011

Highs & Lows

Seeing snow for the first time.

It could get so cold I couldn’t feel my feet.

Itinerary Overview

Starting our could trip over in Brussels was amazing; this was because of a friend that lived there, seeing as we were travelling we took the chance to visit them. This meant that we had an insiders view of Brussels as well as thee tourist one. Besides the amazing places like the Grand Place, the Manneken Pis statue, or the Musee Royaux Des Beaux Arts, there are two things I really remember from this trip: the great fries in a cone that you can find in almost every street and everything the city had regarding comics like Tintin and the Smurfs. The city was filled with art and magnificent views, such as the Atomium in Heysel Park and the Parc Du Cinquantenaire. It was such a beautiful city that nothing, not even the cold stopped us from exploring every inch we could.

One of the days we spent in Belgium was spent traveling over to Bruges. This quaint, lovely town was fascinating to me; I loved seeing all the small shops with thousands of witch dolls hanging around. Something I didn’t expect to find there was the Museum Gallery with the Dalí exposition, a great place for a few hours before stopping by the Bruges Markt for something to eat. The city is filled with gorgeous buildings, ranging from state buildings to churches like Our Lady and the Tolkeniesque Belfort. Having spent a wonderful and magical day around this medieval city, we took a train back to Brussels, returning to reality.

To end our trip, we took a train to Amsterdam, the amazing canal city. Seeing this place for the first time was beyond anything I imagined; it has the rush and hustle of any mayor city while being relaxing and out of this world. To see everything float by with such peace was unbelievable, as well as seeing the masses of bicycles crossing every street. Even though we had short time in the city, we managed to visit a lot of places and truly enjoy. We visited the Vondelpark by the water, loving the open-air theater even though we didn’t watch any performance there;  one of the best places for me was the Van Gogh Museum filled with art not only by this great artist but by other similar impressionists. Every place in the city seemed to be perfectly placed and designed to be beautiful, reflecting light upon the water and making you feel like you’re in a dream. It was an amazing city to end the journey in.

  • 5 Nights: Brussels
    Fantasy and Food
  • Day trip: Bruges
    Crafty Medieval City
  • 2 Nights: Amsterdam
    Art and Water

Q & A

  • What would you have changed?

    Stay longer in Amsterdam and buy museum tickets before to save myself the line.

  • Anything go wrong during the trip?

    We had to stop a lot since it was very cold and our feet started to hurt.

  • How was the food?

    The food was great, my best recommendation is to try some fries in Brussels.

  • What tips would you give a friend?

    See where you can go by train, it may be cheap for some places and there are amazing towns nearby.

  • Packing tips?

    Since it was January, it was very cold so make sure to pack warm clothes, gloves, hat and all.

  • Transportation Tips?

    All cities are very walkable and it was beautiful to do so.

  • Booking details?

    I make most of my reservations on Expedia or directly on the hotel websites.

Lodging