I went to Belgium at the end of April on business and I didn’t expect to have much down time to explore. I was right. I barely saw anything outside of meeting rooms and my hotel room, except for the views out of the car window on the hour long drive from Antwerp to the work site.
A company driver picked me up at the hotel at 7:45AM each morning and I typically didn’t get dropped off until 9:00PM or 10:00PM. I was in meetings all day and then we had group dinners at night. I can say that the food in Belgium is very good and I was never disappointed in a meal. I did have one Westmalle beer on my last night, but I have to say that I wasn’t impressed. Westmalle is a ‘Trappist’ beer that is brewed in an abbey by monks. There are only seven Trappist beers and their website says the taste of the beer can vary widely so perhaps I just received a not so good batch or it wasn’t stored or poured correctly. So much for enjoying a good Belgian beer!
Antwerp is a very nice city. The shopping looked fantastic and I saw so many kids store that I was dying to check out, but the stores all close by 6PM so I didn’t get to partake in that activity. I did go for a few very short runs around the hotel and was blessed with really nice weather the entire week. I didn’t realize how far north Belgium is located until we were sitting outside at dinner one night and the sun didn’t set until 9PM (in April).
I stayed at the Hilton and the location is fantastic. The rooms were nice and the staff was friendly. It is close to everything and it’s a great area walk around and explore. It’s very close to the cathedral:
And many restaurants:
Town Hall, a very impressive building, is right around the corner:
You can go for runs along the river and through this castle:
I got enough of a taste to know that I would like to go back and explore the city and the rest of the country with my boys. Since my company has a significant presence in Belgium, I think I should have other opportunities to return and include an extension for some personal time.
Have you been to Belgium? What were the highlights for you?