The Bucket List - Winter 2012/13

    Click on the item you are interested in. A panel with information about the event or location will open under the title.
    Once you've read the information, use the icons to book trains, map a driving route, find other nearby events, other similar activities or to find out about other activities in Belgium.
    If you have an item for the next Bucket List send it to Send us a photo of you at one of the recommended locations and we'll publish it in the left column.

    1. Bruges

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    Upon visiting Bruges, you will immediately notice that this city has carefully cherished its architectural and artistic treasures from the past.

    One strength of Bruges' museum collections is its great diversity, from the Flemish primitives to contemporary art, from the classic 'fine arts' to archaeological excavations, furniture, silverware, folklore and so on.

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    2. Brussels
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    A destination that's easy to reach. This cosmopolitan city that loves good food lives life its way and expresses itself in a style very much its own: sometimes mischievous, sometimes thoughtful and composed, but always very likeable. Despite its European dimension and despite all the different languages spoken on the corner of every street, Brussels is still inspired by a very "village-like" spirit. Of course, it's well known for its Grand-Place, its Atomium, its Manneken-Pis, its Gueuze and its Kriek, its waffles and its chocolates.

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    3. Do a Volksmarch in your community
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    A Volksmarch is a great way to enjoy a day with family and friends, get some exercise and meet new people. It is also a great way to find out more about your local community and see places off the beaten path. A list of Volksmarches is provided in the Gazette each week or you can use the two Volksmarch icons to find more.

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    4. Blegny Mine
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    Located between Liège and Maastricht, Blegny Mine is one of the four authentic coal mines in Europe with underground drifts accessible for visits through the original shaft. They allow a complete discovery of the process of coal mining.
    Since July 2012, Blegny-Mine and the three other major mining sites in Wallonia (Le Bois du Cazier, Bois-du-Luc et Grand-Hornu) are recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

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    5. Antwerp by Train
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    If you have a taste for history and atmosphere, Antwerp may even fill the bill better than Brussels.  While visiting the town, you will discover an incomparable cathedral, remarkable houses, magnificent architecture, and numerous museums, some of which display some of the most famous Belgian paintings.  The Central Rail Station dates back to the early 1900s.  It is located in the center of town, right next to the zoo. You can also visit the Diamond Museum.  In the evening, visitors can enjoy the atmosphere in one the numerous cafés and jazz bars.

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    6. Visit a Battle of the Bulge Memorial
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    The Battle of the Bulge was the largest land battle in the U.S. Army history.  The siege was Germany's last major counteroffensive of the war in Europe.   On December 16, 1944 with the onset of winter, the German army launched a counteroffensive that was intended to cut through the Allied forces in a manner that would turn the tide of the war in Hitler's favor. Discover the impact of the battle on the local populations and the Allies’ roles in liberating towns and villages.  Combine educational visits to battle monuments and museums with an enjoyable trip in the beautiful Belgian Ardennes.

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7. Soignies
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Soignies is a small town located about ten miles from SHAPE that combines old traditions with modern day activities.  Known for its 11th century Roman style St-Vincent church you can visit, it is also famous for its stone and glass industry.  You can easily spend a day there visiting the Centre de Pierre Bleue et du Verre (the stone and glass museum), the old cemetery and enjoy the great food in some of the restaurants down town.  Don’t forget to stop by the chocolate factory there: they will even organize a tour for a group upon request.

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8. Belgian Coast in Winter
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The Belgian coast is a belt of sand stretching for 40 miles from the French border to the Netherlands.  Though the Belgian winter weather would typically not allow you to enjoy the golden sand and the sea, nature lovers would enjoy a walk in the dunes between De Panne and the French border.  After a healthy walk, you can visit the Fine Arts Museum in Oostende.  You can also eat mussels and frites in one of the many eateries or visit the numerous stores available in the 20 resorts on the coastline.  If you prefer driving to Nieuwpoort, you will find a historic area. Two cemeteries, one Belgian and the other British, will remind you of the role Nieuwpoort played in World War I.



9. The Giant House in Ath
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The city of Ath is famous for its giant festival, held annually every fourth weekend in August. For more than five centuries, thousands of people have been gathering to celebrate the wedding of Goliath and his bride on Saturday, and to watch the procession on Sunday. Discover who those figures are and why giants take part in so many traditional fairs all over Europe by visiting the Giants’ House located in an 18th century family mansion. A range of films, pictures and documents enable the visitor to discover the history behind the giants who will even introduce themselves to you.



10. Dinant -- Home of Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxaphone
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Dinant is located on the River Meuse in the Belgian province of Namur, Belgium. It is approximately 30 km south-east of Charleroi.
It is also the birthplace of Antoine-Joseph"Adolphe" Sax, the creator of the saxaphone.
The city's landmark is the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame. It was rebuilt in Gothic style on its old foundations after falling rocks from the adjacent cliff partially destroyed the former Romanesque style church in 1227.


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