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In Bruges: UNESCO meets black comedy crime

I was first in Bruges just after uni. It was a brief trip, just 3-4 hours, and what I remember best was cleanliness! Not so much as a gum wrapper littered the cobbled streets. Years later, I returned with Ali. Possibly an even shorter visit. So when VisitFlanders invited me to have a closer (and […]

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De Koninck: Antwerp in a Bottle

As you may recall, we really like Antwerp here at Sophie’s World. So we just had to return! Earlier, we’ve talked about the city’s three World Heritage sites (three!). This time, I’ll tell you about an unusual Antwerp brewery. Sounds, well, not that exciting? That’s what I thought, too. In fact, when I learned we […]

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In Flanders Fields the poppies grow…

“Listen, our guns have stopped.” “Maybe the war is over. Maybe it’s peace.” “Oh hurray! The big knobs have got around the table and yanked the iron out of the fire.” This exchange from the last few minutes of the final episode of Blackadder Goes Forth is what I think about while visiting Flanders Fields […]

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One day in Antwerp – a snapshot

One of the most famous novels in Norway is called Gift (meaning Poison. Oddly, it also means ‘married’). It was written in 1883 by Alexander Kielland and is a deeply critical social commentary on the educational system. Cramming and memorising was the order of the day, and not necessarily topics relevant to real life. Students […]

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11 most popular Instagrams in July 2015

The most popular Instagrams in July come from the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Sweden, Germany and Spain. Let’s get to it: 11. Antwerp mural. Much as I adore Tin Tin, there’s more to Belgian street art and murals than Hergé’s intrepid journo. Here’s a wall in Antwerp. 10 Art Nouveau Pavillion in San Sebastian. During the summer holidays, the […]

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11 most popular Instagrams in June 2015

This month’s most popular Instagrams are from Northern Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Germany and Sweden, and include three World Heritage sites. Here we go: 11. Until last month, I hadn’t been in Antwerp in more than 20 years. What a wonderful city! One of its many features is the fabulous doors found around town. This one […]

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World at a Glance: Hot kitty in Brussels

When I began a sporadic little series Cats of the World a few years ago, this hot pink spandex cat on a bike in Brussels is not the type of cat I had in mind. Cats are indeed photogenic creatures, and so is this kitty. No surprise, really, that this kitty is indeed in Brussels, […]

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