""Belgium by cows". Translation: Norali" Top 5 Page for this destination Belgium by Norali

Belgium Travel Guide: 23,084 reviews and 58,524 photos

Some cities, first...


Discover in this page some facts, stories, tips and tricks about Belgium and its inhabitants. Some cities have their own page, browse for a focus on them. Up to now, my pages that are fit to be seen, as results of more than 10 years living in Belgium !, are (don't laugh!)
- my Brussels page
- my Antwerp page
- my Ghent page
- my Leuven page

In my pre-VT era, I've visited more than those areas mentioned above. I've even lived in Mons for 1 year and a half but not enough materials to build decent pages on many places. I'd rather suggest to be patient and you will see the travel pages list expanding.

[Update on July 2009: Now, sleepy Belgium you said ? A sleepy Belgium page, for sure but not a sleepy country at all. Hear that!
Since June 2, both Hergé (Tintin's father) and Magritte (the surrealist painter) have museums of their own in their native country.
To grand guys, grand buildings: Located in Louvain-La-Neuve, a student city 32 km Southeast Brussels, the sleek concrete, steel and glass Hergé museum was designed by Christian de Portzamparc, the one who designed LVMH NYC skyscraper, as far as I remember (yes, it is where my interest in fashion and business shows!!). Its shape is reported to remind an ocean liner. Much in tune with Tintin's adventurer character. Well... the genius, the 230 million Tintin comic books sold all over the world, their translations into 80 languages. If all that doesn't owe Hergé a Portzamparc building, what else would do ?

Now, Magritte. His is located in Brussels, a stone's throw from the Royal Palace. Less impressive building than RG's. Still, it was remodeled to accomodate the huge content, about 200 items on display: painting, posters, photos, letters, sculptures. Part of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts complex, technology is part of the neoclassical Hotel Altenloh though. GDF Suez, the Franco-Belgian energy giant who financed the project is using it as a lab of green tech such as LED lights and climate-control systems.
Now, will the lucky ones who can visit both the museums take pics for us, please ?
I guess memorabilia, technology, culture, artwork and living the creation process are both worth the detour. Ah! Belgium... One day...]


Tales by the cows...

Some of pieces of information in this page were given to me by urban cows (!). During a summer afternoon in 2003, I had this opportunity to talk with some cows in Brussels streets. What I learnt from those encounterings is really related to Belgian features. However, the cows told me that their origin dates back to 1998 in Switzerland. Then they started touring big cities of the world.

A bit astonished, I asked them about how it comes that they know so much about Belgium. They told me that for months, they were trained by some Belgian coaches on how delivering information about Belgium. Training took place in Tour et Taxi premices, an ancient industrial site that is preserved. It included some cultural knowledge lessons, relooking sessions and some pose rehearsals before the cows hit Brussels streets hence entertain crowd and passers-by with their tales. Soooo, with that in mind, I was enthusiast in listening to them.

I give you here translations of what they told me. My colleague, Dannie, helped me a lot in capturing the very moments of my conversations with cows. Many thanks to her!

I hope you will enjoy the tales and use the tips when visiting the country that hosted the Cows in 2003.


Artoncows: is it art?

Here and there, people can't help but argue about whether the trainers are artists or not.

Personnally, I don't want to be involved in such argument. What interested me most were their tales and, sometimes, their looks.

I noticed that cows are specialized. Some told me about Belgian food specialties, others about Belgian economy... Few conveyed messages concerning the need for charity, peace... Not to be overlooked: the light-hearted ones, the socialites, the shoppers. They are just there to entertain, to imitate humans in everyday life... They are fun, in fact.

To have an overview of the whole set I had fun discussing with, during my "Cowsspotting session", check tips of this page and Tlogs of my Ixelles then my R?gion de Bruxelles-Capitale pages.

I hope you will have fun. BTW, this funny idea of translating and sharing our conversations spurted out of my brains on a sleepless night of end of July. Sooooo, the cows and humans alike find it normal that I don't have that much time to update things on here. But patience, mes amis...

Here is Marguerite, my favourite.. She is amongst the light-hearted socialites, just beautiful, funky, surrounded by butterflies.

She could be spotted in the Royal park area. Thinking of it, where else should she graze? Her friends are the shoppers in Louise area...

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Diverse, Warm people
  • Cons:Rainy Belgium
  • In a nutshell:Multicultural, hospitable little country
  • Last visit to Belgium: Jan 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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