Take the Ferry to France and drive to Belgian events

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When you take the ferry to France you’re only a short drive away from Belgium, where there’s a whole host of events to consider.

Top of the list for Belgium is the fantastic food and beer. There are many restaurants that can compete with some of the world’s best, and you’ll find many of these scattered around the Grand Place in Brussels. There are many fine patisserie shops and specialist chocolate shops, with Belgium being a main producer of top quality chocolate and a main supplier to countries around the world.

The country basically has two regions, French speaking and Flemish speaking. In the capital, Brussels it’s fairly mixed and more cosmopolitan but the divide is largely Flemish in the north and French in the south.

Antwerp is the main Flemish speaking city, famous for its jewellery stores selling all types of gemstones but especially diamonds. The Royal Museum for Fine Arts in Antwerp houses a fine collection of art, especially by Rubens.

Bruges, also in the north is a particularly beautiful old city with cobbled streets and bridges spanning the river and canals that wind through its centre. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and definitely recommended for at least a weekend break. Bruges also has a good museum, the Groeninge Museum, which specialises in works by Flemish renaissance and baroque masters as well as 18th and 19th century neo-classical and realist periods.

In Brussels the Royal Museum of Fine Arts has a particularly impressive collection of Magritte’s work. This complex also has a concert hall and cinema. Brussels is a beautiful city and full of great architecture.

For music fans there’s always something to see in Belgium. This is a country that likes its music and, just like the UK, they have a number of festivals throughout the year. In Brussels, up and coming shows include, Bryan Adams on the 19th September  at the Cirque Royal, Peter Gabriel on the 1st October at the Vorst Nationaal and Elton John at the end of the year at Palais 12.

For design enthusiasts, Design September will be held from the 7th to the 29th September. Design September is an annual event bringing together a number of cultural and commercial events in Brussels, the city becoming a place where international designers will meet during the whole of this month.

And for sports fans, the Belgian national football team are currently in the play-offs for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification. In fact they currently lead their group, which includes Wales and Scotland. The game against Wales on the 25th October in Belgium will definitely be worth travelling to see, especially if Gareth Bale is in the team, who ironically could be playing against his Tottenham team mate Dembele. Welsh fans can drive down to Dover Port and catch the Dover Calais ferry. Once on the other side the drive down to Belgium is quick and easy. Coming back, ensure you fill your boot with some of that famous Belgian beer as the France ferries don’t have baggage restrictions!

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