What were your impressions of visiting Belgium?
I love Belgium. I have been several times and going again in October. I've stayed in Ostend, Leuven and Bruges. I've visited Brussels and Antwerp. Bruges is one of my favourite places. A truly beautiful city, with cobbled streets, waterways and stunning architecture. The Belgians are fantastic, warm and friendly they are total Anglophiles. The food is good - Belgian fries (an idea stolen by the French, great steaks and of course chocolate! However, for me it's about the beer. The sheer number of different beers available in any bar is overwhelming. I have never had a Belgian beer I disliked - they also have a proper pub culture too just like the Brits except you never see a drunk Belgian!
Beer: it's poncy. Not a drinking nation. You sit down and wait to get a beer bottle with a co ordinated glass and beer mat.
Even in the most disreputable places you only get a glass.
Sex. Seems to be missing. Perhaps everyone has gone to Holland. Its a bit drab and unexciting.
Football. It's not really a footballing nation, although football is present in the country people seem to ignore it.
Food: although they have the continental habit of not being able to make tea, they do have chips, although they like mayonaisse with them.
The French part does have posh food.
Road system. The worst drivers in Europe, with the worst highway code.
Charleroi is hell on Earth, a kind of less pretty version of Hull.
I've always got the impression Belgium isn't a proper country, its the unfashionable French bits, added to the shabby German bits.
It's the only place I've found to be actively anti-English, people would switch the lights off if you spoke English and pretend they didn't have anything to sell in Bars.
I don't hate Belgium. Its just too mediocre. It just doesn't have any history or anything, apart from Waterloo, but that was hardly a Belgian event mostly rest of Europe v Napoleon made famous by an Abba song.
The atomium is the crappest state museum I've been to.
When your most famous landmark is a pissing statue, the culture is questionable.
My favourite aspects of Belgium are that everything is shut on Sunday and that it still has places that employ stroppy rail staff. I've seen a booth that had two staff employed to point to a sign saying "we are closed" with a supervisor to watch their non-work.
It was a flashback to 80's Britain.
Though I'm no fan of Brussels, I agree with others that Bruges is truly fantastic. Brussels, to me, is a lit like Washington or other political capitols. Antwerp is also quite nice.
People seemed to be friendly, if a bit reserved and "proper".
The beer is great, and Belgian food can be ranked with some of the best in the world.... If you stay away from touristy places
Friendly, helpful, kind, protective of their families and property, hard-working, great farmers, excellent cheesemakers who have fun with cheese and beer, good makers of ports, graveyards, and flower arrangements.