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Belgium Waffles? Belgium Fries? Oh, Belgium!

Belgium, home of the delicious chocolate, crispy fries, and mouth-watering waffles, is a fascinating country with much more to offer beyond its culinary delights. Because let’s just be honest when I hear Belgium, I also hear waffles.

In 2015, I visited the Bastogne War Museum in Belgium, which had an Expo showcasing the Texas A&M Corps' involvement in the war in Bastogne. It was a great Expo that displayed all of A&M's core values and showcased how individuals helped in the war, highlighting their heroism. It made me feel honored and proud to be an Aggie. We often hear about how well-known and worldwide the Aggies are, but to see it in action was a unique experience.

2015 was the first and last time I visited Belgium, but this summer I went to Brussels with my husband and mother. We caught a Flixbus from Luxembourg to Brussels, the capital city of Belgium. We started our trip by doing a free walking tour to help us learn more about Belgium and its culture. We find it the best way to explore a country and learn a more in depth history.

At the beginning of the tour, we learned that the Dutch-speaking population in Belgium is 60%, followed by around 40% of French and less than 1% of German. This is primarily because Belgium is divided into two regions: Flemish (Flanders) and French-speaking (Wallonia). So politically, they are divided into two. Additionally, Belgium freed itself from Holland (Netherlands) because of religion and the lack of autonomy given to the South. Today, Catholicism is the primary religion of Belgium, while Protestantism is the Dutch religion.

One of the highlights of Brussels is the Grote Markt, which means Good Market. It was the market place for Brussels where you could find the bakery area, slaughterhouse, and more. During the free tour, you'll learn that the buildings were destroyed and rebuilt the same way it was before, with an addition of real gold onto the buildings. Near the Groote Market, you can find the Town Hall, which is a medieval-built and made of stone, and is where the Mayor of Brussels works.

The next site that we went to was Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert. The Belgian Galerie is a smaller version of the one in Milan, but instead of fashion clothing stores, you'll find different chocolate stores. You can sample a variety of chocolates that will leave your taste buds begging for more.

Another popular attraction in Brussels is the Norte Dame. The Church of Saint Michael was demolished to make way for the cathedral, but you can see the original cathedral by going below ground for just 2€.

The most visited monument is the Little Peeing Man statue. This iconic statue is surrounded by different stories, but the most popular one tells the tale of a young boy who wakes up in the middle of the night to pee but is too tired to go. He sees a fire and urinates it down, making him a hero in the city. You can find different stories being told but all of them are made up.

A great and must place to visit is Delirium, a bar/cafe that boasts over 2004 different beers! Don't worry if you're not a beer drinker; the bartenders are extremely knowledgeable and can help you choose the perfect drink for your taste. You can even try a raspberry-flavored beer, which is a personal recommendation.

Personally, I would recommend that you do a Free Walking Tour because it allows you the opportunity to learn about the area, it’s history, the best places to visit, and recommendations. Read more about Belgium fries and chocolate.

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