Belgian Pride

It’s always easy to take pictures when traveling the world but, living in Belgium, I often forget how interesting and beautiful my own country can be.

I’m hardly a patriotic person which may surprise some people but Belgians in general are not very patriotic. A lot of that has to do with our country’s history and the distinct cultural and political division between the Northern part and the Southern part of Belgium. I find that quite sad because people here lack a sense of pride about their country and it’s only in rare moments that North and South reach out to each other. So to be a tourist in your own country can often be quite surprising and uplifting. It’s been a while since I put on my walking shoes and went hiking in the Southern part of Belgium but I studied in Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent and these cities have many great things to offer as well.

Brussels is a melting pot. Often people like to deem the city a place where bureaucrats in grey suits wander the streets ready to lobby at the European institutions. It’s nothing like Paris, that’s for sure. No big boulevards, fountains and squares. You have to look for clues that will lead you to the most interesting and creative places. There’s always something new and exciting lurking around the corner. At the same time there’s a bit of an underground atmosphere where people experiment with music, film, literature and photography. A city to discover.

Antwerp is the city of diamonds and fashion and I love its relaxed yet ambitious atmosphere. Even though Antwerp is not a big city, it’s very cosmopolitan and constantly buzzing with creative people who are eager to try new things. It’s a city of artists, actors, fashion designers and good food.

Ghent is a university city. If you like to party and at the same time enjoy the city’s great history, that’s where you should go. The city has a river that runs through it, a medieval castle and quite a few alleyways to get lost in.

Here are some of the pictures I’ve taken over the years. They make me realize we’ve got many things to be proud of.

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