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Temple of Beer

“Beer is to Belgium what wine is to France; it gives our small country a real identity,” Exports of Belgian beer have soared 70 per cent over the last decade, with 62 percent of the beer produced last year now shipped abroad. With beer being so important to Belgium, it’s not surprising that they are creating a ‘Temple to Belgian Beer’. The project finds a use for the grand 19th century…

What do you eat in Belgium?

Mussels or “moules” are the national dish of Belgium and are in season from September to February. Visitors in the summer will be disappointed. Traditionally they are served in a large steaming pot of savory broth with a side of Belgian frites and homemade mayonnaise. The trick to eating mussels like the Belgians is to use a discarded shell as a spoon to scoop out the plump little delicacies…

The Prince of Belgium

Prince Laurent of Belgium visited Israel to receive a diploma for his green initiatives and he planted a tree in the so-called Forest of Belgium near Jerusalem. Environmentalists (KKL) have planted over 230 million trees on more than 100,000 hectares and continue to plant 3 million trees per year. This NGO is also active in the field of water, agriculture, research on climate change and t…

Battle of the Bulge

Most people have heard of the Battle of the Bulge, but did you know that it took place in Belgium?

The battle took place around the town of Bastogne from 16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945. It is know in french as the Battle of the Ardennes. In a surprise attack, Germany pushed forward in a “bulge” into Belgium. Eventually, the Allied forces overcame the Germans and pushed them back by…

Blank check

In Belgium, personal checks are not used and incur a penalty with your bank. The easiest card to use is a debit card. Credit cards also have to be paid off at the end of the month and don’t carry a balance. Your credit limit is a portion of your monthly salary. Vending machines take a Proton card, which is like a pre-paid debit card for amounts less than 5 euros. It is great that people hav…

Can you guess this sign?

The blue sign with a white “P” is either a sign to say you may or may not park in a certain location. Normally a “P would indicate that parking is available; sometimes it tells you there is a meter nearby that you have to find. The catch with this sign is the small blue rectangle with the dial at the bottom. This dial is a cardboard timer that you have to keep in your card and set the tim…

Belgian Apology for Shoah

The prime minister of Belgium, Elio Di Rupo, made an announcement Sunday during a memorial ceremony in Mechelen in which he apologized for the “complicity of state authorities in the murder of Belgian Jews during the Holocaust.” He acknowledged the steady participation by Belgian state authorities in the persecution of Jews. Di Rupo’s statement of apology comes a week after Brussels Mayor…

Is there a doctor in the house?

Doctor’s and dentist’s offices are normally found in houses rather than an office building. It’s nice the way it lends itself to a homey feeling and convenient…

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