Mechelen, Belgium

RO: Avem ce-avem cu Benelux-ul si parca de fiecare data cand ajungem in zona mai descoperim cate o minunatie de oras ori sat ascuns cine stie pe unde. Si cum imprejurimile Eindhoven-ului (acolo unde ne aflam in vizita la niste buni prieteni) ne sunt oarecum familiare, am ales vecina Belgia pentru o vizita de o zi. S-a gandit draga de regiune flamanda sa scoata asii sai din maneca dupa atata ridicat in slavi rivala valona, cu satele ei pitoresti, ca scoase din reviste. Astfel ca intre Antwerp si Bruxelles, la aproximativ 25-30 km de fiecare dintre ele, se afla o bijuterie de oras, si anume Mechelen. Cu un centru vechi de toata frumusetea, cu un Grote Markt cu cladiri colorate ce ne-amintesc de orasele olandeze, cu restaurante care mai de care mai imbietoare si miros de ciocolata peste tooooot (Neuhaus, Godiva, Leonidas, ce faceti voi dietelor noastre?!), pare pur si simplu desprins din povesti. Si asta pe timp de iarna, pe o vreme absolut infioratoare (am ajuns acolo pe o ploaie inghetata de patinam prin tot centrul pe piatra cubica). Daramite vara, cand toata piata centrala e plina de terase inflorite si berarii tentante πŸ˜€ Cum vremea nu a fost nici pe departe de partea noastra, ne-am multumit cu o plimbare de maxim jumatate de ora prin centru si o bautura calda intr-o cafenea, insa data viitoare, cand om veni vara, planuim sa batem in lung si-n lat intregul oras. Si-apoi si frumusetea de Lier, prin care doar am trecut o fuga cu masina. Si musai, musai, trebuie sa ajungem si in Ghent, pentru ca spre rusinea noastra, inca nu l-am vizitat πŸ™‚

EN: We have an obsession for Benelux and each time to visit it we end up finding who knows what gorgeous town or hidden village. As the surroundings of Eindhoven are somehow familiar already (we we’re here visiting some good friends of ours) we have chosen the neighboring Belgium for a one day trip. Dear Flamish region has thought about showing her aces up the sleeve after praising the rival Wallonie to the skies, with its picturesqueΒ villages, as taken out of the magazines. So between Antwerp and Brussels, at approximately 25-30km away from each of them, we found a hidden gem calledΒ Mechelen. With an extremely beautiful old town center, a Grote Markt packed with colorful buildings that remind us of Dutch cities, with tempting restaurants and such a great smell of chocolate everywhereeeee (Neuhaus, Godiva, Leonidas, what are you doing to our dieeets?!), it simply seems taken out of a fairy tale. And that’s during wintertime, on a terrible weather (we got there on a freezing rain, we could literally ice skate on the cobbled stone streets). Not to mention during summer time, when the central market is full of blooming terraces and tempting beer houses πŸ˜€ As the weather was far from being on our side, we had to be thankful for a half an hour walk in the city center and a hot drink in a coffee shop, but next time, when we’ll be here during summer time, we plan to visit each and every single corner of the town. And then we have the gorgeous Lier, that we’ve seen from the car. And we truly truuuuuly have to see Ghent, as to our shame, we haven’t visited yet πŸ™‚
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