Schildehof Park, Belgium

Have you ever seen movie called The Secret Garden? If so, for sure you wanted to find such a place by your own, if no, just watch it and you will see.

Last weekend I visited The Park Schildehof in the north of Belgium. It looks like a huge forest once you walk in. There used to be a beautiful castle but now it is gone. It is difficult to describe that amazing place. Despite of winter it was still very green and full of magic. On some of the pictures you can see how great that place is, unfortunately photos don’t give the real feeling of fear and magic, but maybe it should be like that. Then you can go and visit that place by your own.

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I couldn’t get much information about history of the castle and people living there. Here you have some old photos, just to imagine how it looked like.

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So Do Not Go There If You don’t believe in magic and you don’t want to discover a magic places.

 

 

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Mechelen, charming place.

I have lived in Brussels for 4 months, so that will explain why there are so many posts about Belgium. It is just such a nice country. So, today one more time about it. This time I would like to present you a small city called Mechelen.

It is located about 35 km away from Brussels. By train you will get there in about 30min. So when you leave the railway station it may looks ugly, because the main street is grey with ugly buildings, but once you reach the city center you will see how nice it is.

As well you should walk among the river Dijle that goes through the city.  The buildings there are really charming. In Mechelen you will find many old but restored houses. The main market is full of restaurants where you can try some traditional Belgian food.

My advice is to walk all around the city, and discover narrow streets where you can forget about all your problems.

So Do Not Go There If You don’t like old architecture and romantic scenery.

Museums in Brussels

Today I would like to mention about two great museums in Brussels. First is called Museum of Natural Sciences http://www.naturalsciences.be/index_html and second one is Musical Instruments Museum(MIM) http://www.mim.be/en . Unfortunately in both of them you will need to pay for the entrance, but what is great is the fact that every FIRST WEDNESDAY of the month since 1 PM they are for free. So if you are lucky enough, or you will plan well your visit, you can go into those places free of charge!!!!

Why they’re so nice? First one is full of animals including dinosaurs, and you can learn really many interesting things about them. Descriptions are in 4 languages (French, Flemish, German and English). The museum looks old from outside, but in reality is quite interactive.

Musical Instruments Museum is located in a gorgeous building that looks like taken from fairytale. Once you will get in, they will offer you a nice interactive tool, which allows you to listen to every instrument that is on the exhibition! It is really great idea, because you will not only see strange instruments, but you will be able to hear them, and that is something unique! During my visit there were as well some  live concerts that made my visit even more interesting!

On the top of the building (10th floor), is located a charming restaurant with a nice terrace from where you can adore spectacular view for all city! Really worth to see! The only bad thing about both of those museums is that they close at 5PM so you will have to rush, to see all exhibitions. I didn’t have time to see all of MIM.

Did you know that there are more free museums in Brussels? On that page http://brusselsmuseums.be/en/faq.php?id=6 you will see which one is always for free, and which one are on first Sundays or Wednesdays of the month. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me. I will be glad to help. 😉

So Do Not Go There If You are not a big fan of music and animals. You can get easily bored then.

Sunday in Brussels? Do some antique hunting!

There are many flea markets in Brussels, but one of my favorites is the one on Place du Jeu de Balle, located very close from the Palais de Justice. It is open all year round, but it feels like a especially good option to me going there on a sunny Sunday morning as the atmosphere, a mixture of tourists and locals, is especially nice.

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The first impression may be that everything here is a big mess, and certainly it is, but that is part of the charm, and actually each seller has a good control over its items. Here you can find all kinds of antiques and art objects, furniture, clothes, books, pictures, and mainly anything you can imagine; so who knows, maybe you will find the object you’ve spent years looking for!

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The best of all is the charm of the square itself, surrounded by bars where you can get a drink or eat something after the arduous search! My recommendation is to try the delicious hot dog from “Chez Charlotte”, a deli where also several types of sandwiches and snacks are sold. For around 5 euros you will get a generous hot dog, stuffed with fried onion, sauerkraut or apple compote at your choice! Simply irresistible! You will recognize it easily by the long line that people forms in the door.

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The market opening hours are 6am to 2pm on weekdays and from 6am to 3pm on weekends.

So DO NOT GO THERE if you are a tidiness freak!

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Posted by Nacho

Brussels icon.

If you follow our blog you should be already familiar with that shape.

Yes, it is one of the characteristic buildings in Brussels- Atomium. It was originally constructed for Expo ´58, the 1958 Brussels World´s Fair. Designed by the engineer Andre Waterkeyn and architects André and Jean Polak, it stands 102 m tall.

It consists of nine balls – atoms interconnected tubes, which are connected within escalators (the longest is 35 meters). Each of the “carbon” has a diameter of 18 m. Inside that great building, you can find permanent and temporary exhibitions. What is really worth to see is the spectacular panorama from the highest ¨carbon¨. From the top you can see how nice Brussels is.

More information about that interesting place you can find on Atomium´s home page that is http://atomium.be/

So DO NOT GO THERE IF YOU don´t want to see an amazing view of Brussels and learn more about Expo ´58.

We would like to thank you one more time for invitations and great time that we spent there.

Belgian traditional food.

What is your national dish? I guess you have few in your country, don’t you?

Did you know that in Belgium are… chips? Before coming here I didn’t like them too much, but now I have to say that they are great! So crunchy and so tasty! And what is more, there are so many sauces to try together with your chips! Which one is my recommendation? If you like spicy food try Andalusian one and if you prefer something that will burn less in your mouth, then order Brazilian or Curry sauce.

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Apparently the most famous chips in Brussels with 27 sauces to choose!!! http://www.maisonantoine.be/ Check it out!

What is more, don’t be afraid to take your favorite chips to the bar! There are some special bars, usually close to the place where you can buy chips that have signs which allows you to order your beer and enjoy your chips while being inside! Isn’t it amazing?

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“Frites” are more than welcome here.

So, DO NOT GO TO BELGIUM if you don’t want to be addicted to chips! 😀

(English) Miranda castle- Noisy castle, Château Miranda- Château de Noisy

As title of my blog means do not go there if… I decided to describe places which i saw, where I’ve been but as well places where I would like to go and where I will go.
Currently I live in Belgium, and not long time ago, checking polish newspaper; I discover one place that is not that far away from my one. Castle, that both is scary and amazing called Miranda Castle or The noisy castle in French Château de Noisy. First of all it is not that easy to arrive there. The best what you can do is go by train to Dinant, where you can stay for a night and then walk or hitchhike or just go by car.
That castle is unfortunately closed for visitors, but that makes him even more desirable. To arrive there you will have to a) climb the gate which I do not recommend, because is high and too visible, and b) climb a hill from the main road, that is much better way to get there. Hill is not that high but it is really steep and slippery, so better take some trekking shoes.
Once you are there you will see that all that effort was not for nothing. First view on the castle is breathtaking. Dark and forgotten. Once you will get closer you will realize how destroy it actually is. That is the main reason why it is closed. If you want to visit that marvelous place, you should hurry up, because on December 2013 owners, sign up the contract to destroy that place.
So, if you are not willing to have some adventures and to discover dark and abandoned places, definitely DO NOT GO THERE!
HISTORY
The constructions of the castle started in 1866 for a family named Liedekerke-Beaufort. Edward Milner was an architect which was responsible for it. Unfortunately he died in 1884 and never finished the castle. New French architect- Pelchner decided to make that palace bigger that was supposed to be. Finally in 1907 Mirranda castle was finished. Family Edward Milner loved their new castle, and they were spending there summer brakes. Unfortunately they did not stay there for long. During second war, Nazis took their summer residence. In 1950 the castle was taken over by National Railway Company of Belgium (NMBS) as an orphanage. It remained a facility for the use of children until 1980. In 1990 the owners had an idea to change it into hotel, but potential investors were frightened with high costs of that investments and they never decided to do it. Since 1991 castle is empty and in 1995 some part of the roof burnt. After that owners, decided to take more important things like fireplaces, marbles and wooden floors to their residence in Italy.

References:
http://deser.pl/deser/51,111858,15608263.html?i=0
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miranda_Castle
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