Amsterdam History

Amsterdam - moored boats

Amsterdam is Netherlands’ capital. It is also a favorite tourist destination with its iconic canals. While there are many beautiful sights and things to do, it is helpful to understand Amsterdam’s history. If you don’t like history, skip directly to our other Amsterdam blogs. Amsterdam’s Start Amsterdam began as a small fishing village in the [Read more …]

Delft Netherlands

Delft canal

Delft Explosion It was a typical peaceful October day in a typical Middle Age town. The weavers, the blacksmiths, the merchants, and the brewers were all going about their business inside the Delft city walls. The farmers were tending their crops and their cattle outside. Then came the explosion. An accidental spark set off a [Read more …]

The Hague

The Hague Hei Plein Square

The Hague is The Netherlands’ less than a fascinating city, at least for us. We visited The Netherland’s third-largest city and national capital primarily for one art museum—the Mauritius—and its proximity to two cities for a day trip, Delft and Rotterdam. Still, we explored some of its highlights on a raining afternoon and had some [Read more …]

Antwerp: From Birth to Near Death and Back

Antwerp - Brabo Fountain

Antwerp: From Birth to Near Death and Back The Romans found Antwerp Belgium in the second century AD. Antwerp rapidly evolved into a major river port and the northern boundary of the Roman Empire. Its sheltered, easy access to the North Sea made it a prized shipping port. By the 10th century, it was under [Read more …]

Bruges—From Fishing Village to Tourist Mecca

Bruges - Swans

The Rise of Bruges Belgium Bruges Belgium began as a small fishing village in the 2nd century AD. As citizens began raising sheep. the village evolved into a trading port around wool exports, and increasingly around the cloth that it wove. While it initially traded with a growing number of communities, it was vulnerable to [Read more …]

Ghent Belgium

Ghent - Sint Baafskathedraal Church

Ghent is an easy day trip from Brussels. The city was built on the basis of textiles. As a major trading center in the Middle Ages, it built a grand city center to celebrate and demonstrate its position and wealth. It continued being prosperous through the mid-17th century until the Dutch closed the canal that [Read more …]

Leuven Belgium

Leuen building 02

Leuven Belgium is an easy 20-minute train from Brussels, making it a perfect day trip. Julius Caesar found this lovely, historic town as a fortified Roman Empire camp. It grew to become the seat of one of Europe’s most important universities in the Middle Ages—a school at which professors including Erasmus and Mercator taught. Today, [Read more …]

Brussels Belgium

Brussels - Grand Place

Brussels is Belgium’s capital and largest city. The Frank Kingdom (a barbarian kingdom) established the city in 977. Successive generations of the Holy Roman Empire and Burgundy dukes and Netherlands regimes built it into a powerful fortress and trading city. Today Brussels is divided into two primary sections: Lower Town is by the river. It [Read more …]

Paris Restaurants and Food

We are foodies. No doubt about it. We love exploring new places when we travel and revisit old favorites. This blog compiles all of our Paris restaurant reviews in one spot. 1st Arrondissement L’Escargot Montorgueil (38 Rue Montorgueil) 2019: This Marais neighborhood spot specializes in, you guessed it, escargot. We were in the mood for [Read more …]

Paris Museums

Paris L

Paris France is one of those places to which we frequently return. In fact, we have spent more time here than in any other non-U.S. city. This time we only had 3 days in reacquaint ourselves with some of our favorite museums. Rather than repeat or rephrase all that we have written before, this post [Read more …]