The Expat Guide to Having Fun in Brussels & Belgium
by Douglas E Morris 


Book Summary

If you are looking to have a great time in Belgium, either as a visitor or an expat, then The Expat Guide to Having Fun in Brussels & Belgium is the ebook for you.

The Expat Guide to Having Fun in Brussels & Belgium showcases all the best events and festivals on offer each month, along with the more enjoyable activities and places to visit for kids, families and adults, ensuring that no matter when you arrive in Belgium, you will not miss out on any of the most interesting, distinctly local, culturally significant, or just plain fun activities. Within its pages you will find information about great markets, playgrounds, parks, kids play centers, amusement parks, adrenaline pumping family activities, Christmas Markets all over Europe, unique cultural destinations, farms stays, bicycling, kayaking, paintball, land sailing, rock climbing, go-karting, a multiplicity of spectator sports to enjoy, social and expat groups to join, as well as periodicals filled with weekly events and activities all over the country.

Belgium is an absolutely amazing place to spend a vacation or a couple of years. Brussels is a city of vibrant and diverse neighborhoods; Antwerp is stylish, edgy and hip; Ghent and Leuven are lively university towns; and Belgium as a whole is rich in cultural heritage, natural beauty, and fascinating history. Featuring a treasure trove of enjoyable activities, The Expat Guide to Having Fun in Brussels & Belgium takes away the guesswork about what to do, when, and where. So, if you are looking to fully enjoy your sojourn in Brussels, Belgium and beyond, this ebook is for you.

To order a copy of this ebook, please head to the end of the website below.


Praise for the Book

The Expat Guide to Having Fun in Brussels & Belgium is making headlines all across Belgium, including being featured in Flanders Today, Belgium's most widely-read English-language newspaper. To access the article in the issue of Flanders Today in which it appeared, visit www.flanderstoday.eu/sites/default/files/magazine/FT_2013_11.pdf, then scroll down to page 13. Or visit this link to the article on Flanders Today’s website: www.flanderstoday.eu/content/new-e-book-extols-virtues-being-expat-brussels.
The author was also interviewed on Radio X, Belgium's premier expat radio station.


In the podcast of the interview, Radio X reporter Méabh McMahon speaks to Douglas Morris from his residence while living in Pristina, Kosovo – http://radiox.eu/the-expat-guide-to-having-fun-in-belgium/.

About the Author

Douglas E Morris is a professional travel writer who has lived over 20 years in 10 countries on three continents. He has had 10 books published by four different publishers, has a travel column in Primo magazine, and regularly pens articles for a variety of periodicals. For more information about his other books visit  www.BestofItalyGuide.com  or  www.ItsaSprawlWorld.com.

Mr. Morris lived in Belgium for three amazing years, two of which he was the editor of the US Embassy periodical, the Brussels Weekly, for which he received a number of awards for content and design. During his sojourn in the low countries he traveled far and wide, exploring everything Belgium had to offer, while also venturing forth into nearby countries to find the best places to visit there as well.

The author has explored the pyramids in Egypt, trekked through Alpine peaks in Switzerland and Austria, savored the libertine culture of Denmark, hiked Hadrian’s Wall in northern England, unearthed ancient Roman ruins in Israel, climbed the pyramids of Chichen Itza in the Yucatan, wandered the Great Wall in China, sailed the Fjords of Norway, climbed the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and delighted in la dolce vita in Rome. He has bar hopped down Hooker Hill in Seoul, witnessed cows being ritualistically slaughtered behind the Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, the streets running red with their blood, as well as many other acts of wild abandon far removed from the realm of everyday life. 

However, the place that he feels has the most to offer in terms of expat quality of life and varied experiences is in Brussels and Belgium. To contact the author, send him an email at douglas.e.morris@gmail.com.


Excerpt from the Book

Shown below are some of the events featured for the month of July. This is only a small piece of the book, which contains over 50,000 words of up-to-date information about the best events, activities, destinations, and everything else to help make your stay in Belgium the best it can possibly be. 

The strength of the book is that it allows you to plan. Exact event dates and times are not featured as it is an impossibility to gather that information well in advance for an entire year. Websites for events in Belgium are generally not updated with the new date and time until a few weeks in advance of the event. What The Expat Guide to Having Fun in Brussels & Belgium is designed to do is show you the best that is on offer all over Belgium, giving you the power to plan your entertainment in advance. Certainly, as the month draws near, you will need to visit the websites featured in this book for each event, to find the exact dates and times. But we recommend you do that anyway, as some will change at the last minute. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the author at douglas.e.morris@gmail.com.

July

Ommegang. Early July. More than 1,400 performers in period costume bring history to life. The main event of the Ommegang takes place at night on the first and last days with a recreation of a pageant that was first performed in 1549 for Emperor Charles V, his son Philip II, and the knights of the Order of the Golden Fleece. The two-hour event includes flag-throwers, folk dancers, archers, acrobats, jesters, jugglers, fire-eaters, falcon-trainers, folkloric giants, the famous Gilles of Binche, and culminates in the amazing stilt-walker battle where scores of stilt walkers strive to knock each other off their pegs. The descendants of the nobility who walked in the first procession in 1549, take part in the modern event just as their ancestors did centuries ago. During the day in the grand Sablon, a small medieval village is set up where knights will be combating on foot and on horseback. www.ommegang.be.

  

Foire de Midi, Mid-July — Mid-August. Complete with amusement park rides, food and drink stands, circus entertainers, games of chance and skill, over 2 kilometers of attractions will be available on the Boulevard de Midi, near the Gare de Midi every summer. What has been called the “village fair of Brussels” remains one of the city’s most popular festivals, attracting over 1,500,000 visitors annually. It’s loads of fun and the prices are reasonable, only between 3 and 6 euro per attraction, with discounts available online (www.foiredumidi.be). There are all sorts of rides and activities for everyone, of all ages, from death defying, stomach churning, adrenaline rushes, to calmer, more sedate rides for more tranquil souls. If amusement park rides, and boisterous and lively crowds are your thing, the Foire de Midi is the place to visit each summer.

Gent Jazz Festival. Early to Mid-July. In a country that loves its jazz, this festival is the best. It takes place at the beautiful Bijloke venue and usually headlines several famous artists. Full information is available at www.gentjazz.com/. Book tickets well in advance.

Brosella. Mid-July. With all the mellifluous quality of folk combined with the warmth of jazz, twenty open-air concerts awaken your enthusiasm for live music. Set in the lush green space of a natural amphitheater, surrounded by verdant trees, in the shadow of the Atomium, this festival is eagerly anticipated every year. And it’s free and kid friendly too. Many activities are specially designed to keep kids entertained with theater and music workshops, while their parents savor the sonorous tunes from the stage. The festival takes place at the Groentheater in the Ossegem Park in the Laeken district of Brussels, so bring your folding chairs, something to eat and drink, and wile away an afternoon or an evening listening to some inspiring music, played by a variety of talented artists. www.brosella.be/eng/brosella-folk-jazz.

British Open Golf. July. The Open Championship brings together the worlds’ greatest golfers to do battle for the famous Claret Jug. www.2012opengolf.co.uk/.

Gentse Feesten. Mid to Late July. Ghent’s infamous 10-day, 24-hour-a-day street party featuring a dozen stages in outdoor squares with live music, entertainment, food, drink, and more. This is a huge event with tons of history and culture along with the wild, bacchanalian celebrations. www.gentsefeesten.be/.

Royal Palace Open to the Public. July — Sept. Every year the royal family opens up the palace to the public. With stunning art, amazing displays, and a room filled with hands on science experiments, this is an activity for the whole family. www.monarchie.be/.

National Holiday. July 21. Celebrate Belgium’s National Day by coming downtown for music, entertainment, parades, food and drink, with the highlight being the military parade in Brussels in the presence of King Albert II. From 10 a.m. to midnight, folklore and fun for young and old including sports, concerts, demonstrations and more. The festivities take place from the Park of Brussels to the Place Poelaert, passing by Rue de la Régence, Sablon and Place Royale. Military parade from the Place des Palais at 4 p.m. Fireworks at the Place des Palais from 11 to 11:25 p.m. Entrance is free of charge. For full program, visit www.brussels.be or www.sibp.be.

Foire de Libramont. Late July. Another not to be missed event. An immense and enormously entertaining agricultural fair featuring farm animals, machinery, dressage displays, markets of local products, and much more. Here you will also be able to see the impressively massive local breed of cow called the Belgian Blues (see sidebar below). www.foiredelibramont.be.

Belgian Blues
Lumbering around the countryside, kicking sand in the faces of regular-sized livestock, heavy muscles flexing, earth rumbling at their passage, is a breed of super cow, the Schwarzenegger of cattle called the Belgian Blues. These are absolutely ginormous slabs of walking muscle, like something out of a bovine bodybuilding contest in a Far Side cartoon.

However, these are no Franken-beasts, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), spliced together with DNA from giant squids or the like to make them so immense. Instead, a century of average, run-of-the-mill, selective breeding techniques has led to this enhanced cattle that appear as if they spend all their time in bovine weight rooms pumping iron.

By mating the biggest with the brawniest over the years, breeders were able to get to the point where these ‘super cows’ are larger, stronger, heavier, and their proponents would say better than your average cow. No artificial chemicals or steroids are involved in the process. These babies are 100% natural cow that can each weigh over a ton.

     

The sculpted appearance prominent in the breed is known as ‘double muscling’ and has recently been discovered to be due to a gene that suppresses the production of Myostatin, a protein that normally inhibits muscle growth after a certain point of development. Pure Belgian Blues carry two copies of the gene, so they just keep on building muscle, which means they end up being ripped and cut and unbelievably muscular.

If you head out to the Foire de Libramont (see event listing above), keep your eyes peeled for these completely unique animals. You can’t miss them. They’re enormous!


Table of Contents

Shown below is an extended Table of Contents from that found in the book to allow you to better grasp the extent of the unique activities, events, and destinations contained in The Expat Guide to Having Fun in Brussels & Belgium, and how this ebook will help make your time in Belgium the best it can possibly be. 

Introduction
Chapter One — Month by Month Events
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Chapter Two — Not to Be Missed in Brussels
Art Nouveau Treasures
Art Nouveau Townhouses by Victor Horta
Secessionist Stoclet House
De Wand Graffiti Wall
Brussels’ Banksy
Comic Strip Walk
Visit a Belgian Comic Book Store
Belgian Centre for Comic Strip Art
Tintin Mural at Stockel
Urinating Statues
Rides on Vintage Trams
Brussels’ Tourist Tramway
Le Forét de Soignes
Green Walk Around Brussels
Belvue Museum & Coudenberg Museum
Grand Place
Cannonball in St Nicholas Church
Camino de Santiago de Campostello
Royal Museum of Fine Arts
Palais de Justice
Visit Stefantiek
Sample Marcolini’s Chocolate
Visit the Neuhaus Factory Store
Take a Chocolate Making Class
Tour a Traditional Chocolate Factory
Gauffres from a Waffle Truck
Traditional Belgian Frites
Mer du Nord
Asian Supermarket
Delacre Cookie Store
Shop at Ava
Plates by the Kilo
Les Petits Riens
Brussels’ Best Ice Cream Parlors
Brussels’ Best Summer Terraces
Brussels’ Best Créperie
Brussels’ Best Coffee Shops
Brussels’ Best English Language Bookstores
Brussels’ Best Irish Bars
Tour Cantillon Brewery
Eat at Pudding Rock
Catch a Concert at Ancienne Belgique
See the Wild Parrots of Brussels
Use Villo – Brussels Bike Rental Scheme
Chapter Three — Markets in and around Brussels
Midi Market
Boitsfort / Watermael Market
Place Chatelain Market
Flagey Market
Stockel Market
Place Jourdan Market
Van Meenen Market
Place du Jeu de Bal Market
Chapter Four — Top Places to Visit in Belgium
Ghent
Antwerp
Bruges
A Castle Outside Bruges
Namur
Dinant
Leuven
The Ardennes
The Belgian Coast
Ypres and the WWI Battlefields
Hergé Museum
Bouillon Castle
Medieval Castle in Beersel
Gaasbeek Castle
Villers de Ville
Tongeren Sunday Antique Market
Gallo-Roman Museum in Tongeron
Charleroi
Belgian Grottos
Chapter Five — Top Places to Visit Near Belgium
Amsterdam
London
Paris
Champagne Region
Alsace Lorraine
Bayeux, DDay Beaches & Beyond
Zeeland
Christmas Markets Around Europe
Chapter Six — Fun Activities in and Around Brussels
Indoor Go-Karting
Indoor Rock Climbing
TerrAltitude
Paintball
Land Sailing
Football in Brussels
American Football in Belgium
Pro Ice Hockey
Pro Basketball
Kayaking
Hashing
Fencing
Bicycling
Skiing Near Brussels
Farm Stays
Trappist Brewery at Westvleteren
The Belgian Beer Routes
Pelgrim’s Beer Warehouse
Chapter Seven — Fun Kids’ Activities in and around Brussels
Play Centers
Toy Stores
Children’s playgrounds
Planetarium
Technopolis
Amusement Parks
Animal Parks / Zoos
Pools and Water Parks in Brussels
Natural Science Museum
Brussels’ Parks
Barefoot Walking Trail
Chapter Eight — Expat and Local Social Groups In Brussels
Chapter Nine — Research Sources
Chapter Ten — Useful Books
Closing Remarks

 



How to Order

To order a copy of The Expat Guide to Having Fun in Brussels & Belgium, the ebook that will help make your stay in Belgium the best it can possibly be, visit: 

Kindle - www.amazon.com/Expat-Having-Brussels-Belgium-ebook/dp/B00A41LKO0 (This download does not work with Nook devices.)

Lulu - www.lulu.com/shop/douglas-morris/the-expat-guide-to-having-fun-in-brussels-belgium/ebook/product-20469157.html (This download works with Nook, but does not work with Kindle devices.)

iBookstore - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/expat-guide-to-having-fun/id574413616?mt=11 (This download works with Nook, but does not work with Kindle devices.)

As of the date of publication, the devices and operating systems listed below work with all three downloads shown above: Apple iPhone/iPod/iPadAndroidSony ReaderBlackberry DevicesPalm OS PDAsCybook OpusBebook (Endless Ideas), Papyrus (Samsung), Jetbook (Ectaco), Windows Mobile OS PDAsWindows PC/PocketPCMac OS, and Linux OS

Due to continuing changes in the eReader market, these lists are not inclusive of all available eReaders. If your eReader is not listed above, please refer to your device documentation for compatible file types.



Ordering a PDF Copy of The Expat Guide to Having Fun in Brussels & Belgium

Another option is to order the guide as a pdf file, and then receiving it directly from the author. The advantage of this is you will be able to read the guide in the manner in which the author intended it to appear. When books are converted for eReaders such as Kindles and iPads, some of the formatting is changed, and sometimes the images are reduced in size. Viewing the guide on your eReader as a pdf file eliminates all those concerns. And best of all, the price is lower than when ordering from Amazon or Lulu. 

To order the The Expat Guide to Having Fun in Brussels & Belgium as a pdf file, select the book from the PayPal drop down list box below, select the Add to Cart button, and then follow the instructions once you get to PayPal. Once the order has been placed via PayPal, and the information has been transmitted to the author, you will be sent, via email, an electronic pdf copy of the document direct from the author.


More Books by the Same Author

For information about the other books that Douglas E Morris has written, please visit the following websites:

Open Road's Best of Italy - www.BestofItalyGuide.com


It's a Sprawl World After All - www.ItsaSprawlWorld.com

FabJob's Guide to Become a Travel Writerhttp://fabjob.com/program/become-travel-writer/