Enjoy Belgium for more than its Chocolate
Renowned for its world-class chocolate, Belgium’s wonderful capital, Brussels also is the home of the European Parliament and the city is a mix of history and culture. Another place worth a visit is Bruges, an idyllic, medieval town with canals running through it that has earned it the name… Venice of the North.
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- Population: 10,444,268
- Capital City: Brussels
- Climate: Temperate, mild winters, cool summers, rainy, humid
- Time Zone: GMT+1
- Language: Dutch, French, German
- Country Code: 32
- Location: Western Europe, between France and the Netherlands
Street lanterns flood narrow alleys with light, creating dramatic shadows against medieval bricks. Ancient buildings light up with a mysterious reddish glow, reflecting off the darkened and still canals. In the evening, the city is at its most enchanting. As the crowds disperse, the isolated streets take on a bewitching and fairytale-like quality.
When you move abroad, it’s an adjustment. It’s a new culture, a new lifestyle, new customs, and new ways of doing things. But one way to ease your transition is to settle in a place where you don’t have to learn a new language, too.
In the popular imagination, it’s the great capitals of Europe that get the most attention. Tourists flock to Paris, Rome, Madrid, and London for the big-city flair, museums, and monuments. It’s the thing to do. And granted, you should seize any opportunity to stroll the Champs-Élysées on a beautiful spring evening or explore London’s international cuisine and regal parks.
In the Kisama Heritage Village in Nagaland, northeast India, the Hornbill Festival is a huge celebration of the indigenous warrior tribes of the region. Taking place between December 1 and 7, the festival is named after the Indian Hornbill, a large and colorful forest bird. You’ll need a government permit to visit, but it’s worth it to experience the beauty contest, archery, wrestling, and lots of singing and dancing.
The earrings are from Hong Kong’s jade market. I bought the fedora hat at a Christmas market in Berlin, the boots from Malaga in Spain, and the shimmering scarf at Otavalo market in Ecuador—one of the largest indigenous markets in South America. You might call it eclectic fashion indulgence. I call it research.
Here’s a round-up of some of the weird and wonderful events taking place across the globe this September.
Every January, we rank and rate 194 countries to come up with our list of the places that offer you the best quality of life. This isn’t about best value, necessarily. It’s about the places in the world where the living is, simply put, great.
We’re always told in life to enjoy the journey, not the destination—but sometimes it’s hard to slow down. We take vacations to get away from it all, and end up needing a second vacation to get over the first one.
Ablaze in bonfire colors, Parc Woluwe’s trees rustle messages that Brussels is tilting into winter. Christmas markets, squares transformed into ice rinks, roasted chestnuts and steamy windows.
Our family recently moved to Ecuador. Having relocated to Belgium just one year earlier, we thought we knew the ropes about how to find a good school for our kids (ages 6 and 8).