Everyone knows Belgium produces some of the world’s finest beer, chocolate and lace. Everyone knows it is friendly with a rich culture, however, not everyone knows one of the best ways to travel is by canal, meandering and appreciating the country at the laid back pace of Belgium itself.
Enjoying A Sensible Pace Of Life
On a boat you are forced to take the time to enjoy yourself, something that Belgium itself could teach us a thing or two about and that many of us never have time to do at home. The gentle pace of the boat means you can see things for more than a mere moment, flashing by as they do in a car or train. Waking up to a different scene every morning is as invigorating as it is relaxing. It is also a great way to spend time together as a couple or as a family or group of friends. Sharing the experience of driving a boat and enjoying each other’s company at a gentle pace along the waterways is great fun and the teamwork of running a boat together is a brilliant bonding experience.
Travelling Belgium by canal boat gives you the opportunity to stop and look at things properly if they catch your interest, too. Maybe you will see a brewery one day and decide to stop for a taste. Perhaps you will float gently past a kingfisher diving for its dinner.
See A Different Culture From A New Perspective
As with all countries, Belgium is a glorious combination of its past and present and a boating holiday is among the best ways to explore both. From visiting the beautiful historic Bruges to the mindful war memorials and the last post at Ypres, Belgium’s rich history has so many stories to tell. Travelling in this manner, as our ancestors did on very different boats, somehow helps to bring the past more to life too. The viewpoint of a boat is very different to that of a car or even a pedestrian. Going along canals you will see things from literally a different perspective, appreciating the different vibes each turn of the water gives you. The view from an aqueduct is incredible. Travelling at the speed of a boat you will have the chance to take plenty of pictures too!
Belgium has over 300 varieties of beer, from the traditional hops and barley beers to the sublime ‘Frambozen’, or raspberry beer and it would be a shame not to taste at least some of them! For the younger members of the family there are fantastic beaches, fairytale castles and towns to explore, as well as chocolate to taste. You can also moor up for a day to explore Bellewaerde Park, on the outskirts of Ypres, a park with many rides alongside flamingos and dwarf goats.
Seeing Belgium by boat is one of the most peaceful ways to travel, giving you the opportunity to slow down and appreciate each day as it comes. It is also enormous fun, whatever the age and size of your group. Each day can mean a change of pace and a variety of new activities. The possibilities are endless.
Tom is very fond of Belgian chocolate, beer and travelling by canal boat. He writes regularly about boating for a variety of travel websites and blogs.