24 comments on “Leave

  1. If you don’t like great food, beer, art nouveau architecture, Vauban military fortifications, Iguanadons, history, Magritte, Ensor, Delvaux, Rogier van der Weyden then by all means stay away from Belgium. It’s not a place for beaches and bimbos, like Portugal

  2. We once scored 10/10 in a pub quiz that asked us to name 10 famous Belgians. When we first saw the question we wondered if there were 10 famous Belgians, let alone naming them. It turned out to be surprisingly easy.

  3. Bruges is one of my favourite places. Beautiful buildings from the height of western civ, not to mention the Hobbit ribs and beer.

  4. Bruge stank on my one visit. The canals were like open sewers and–unlike the Dutch who regularly flush water thro’ Amsterdam’s canals–it seemed the Flems don’t . Or didn’t back then. It was a few years ago.

    That said there is much good art etc in Belguim. Shame the EU holds sway there.

    See the good stuff before DinduDoom overtakes it.

  5. From the dunes on the coast, to Bruges, to the battlefield of Waterloo, to the towering Ardennes, I like Belgium. Chips, mayo and a beer. Excellent food in the restaurants with superb wine lists of Burgundies. Art, as the chap above said, Nouveau.

  6. So when they carried the Good News from Ghent to Aix, what the fuck was it? That we Brits might eventually leave the EU? Or that a country called Belgium might exist one day? That it would form an easy route into France more than once of invading Huns and therefore had to be called something? Or was it that (complete the reason yourself).
    It was a fucking annoying poem, nearly as annoying as the Belgians themselves.

    PS. Anyone else like the book ‘1000 years of annoying the French’?

  7. BiND

    “Famous Belgians”

    Doesn’t Hercule Poirot top that list…

    They do good chocolate too. And generally just very nice people (however badly they drive).

  8. Flanders is a perfectly nice little semi-country. Tourist-wise, all that art & beer means it’s more for grown-ups than for kids; but for that it’s better than France. I’d still choose France for a holiday with kids though.

    I haven’t heard of anything good in Wallonia. Abandoned steelworks and grumpy unemployed people don’t make for a good time.

  9. Anyone else like the book ‘1000 years of annoying the French’?

    Yes! Amusing but also a good overview of Anglo-French history. We never seem to see eye-to-eye for long. However it’s unlikely M Macron will quite reach the level of contre les Anglais expressed by various Charles & Louis of the past.

  10. Estaminets. Leffe. Mont Noir, Leffe. if you’re a smoker & live in Flandres. Leffe. Moules frites. Leffe. But definitely not Ieper on market day.

  11. “So when they carried the Good News from Ghent to Aix, what the fuck was it? That we Brits might eventually leave the EU? Or that a country called Belgium might exist one day? ……….
    It was a fucking annoying poem, nearly as annoying as the Belgians themselves”

    There’s a very old recording of Browning himself reciting it, but unfortunately he forgets how it goes.

  12. A rattling good poem. I can remember us beating out the rhythm on our desks while someone declaimed.

  13. Wallonia… naturally-speaking it’s actually rather beautiful, the rivers that flow through the Ardennes especially.

    Unfortunately the communities there exist in a sort of French Socialist post-industrial malaise.

  14. Witchie: my mother gave it to me for Christmas. I enjoyed it very much, and learnt quite a bit.

  15. I don’t think it is fair to pick on the Belgians. Well maybe it is fair but it is not a good thing to do.

    I like to think of France as Belgium’s more famous Evil Twin. French-speaking Belgium shows what France could have been like if they had been, you know, more English. On time. Polite. What’s the opposite of arrogant? With beer and chips.

    If you ever want to practice your French with someone who is not a complete ar$e, I would recommend Belgium. Or maybe some of France’s more rural provinces. But Belgium is the better choice.

  16. Just don’t try speaking French in Flanders. And get used to (the logical) septante, octante and nonante.

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