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Lodging in Belgium (Preferably in Flanders) for the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice

Hello, all:

I'm trying to set up a trip for myself from November 8 through November 15th 2018. I've gone to the hostel sites and they all appear to be booked. I'm assuming that the hostels will take people in their 60s (I'll be 61 at that time). Can it really be that they're all booked that far in advance or are the dates "locked" until some time in the future.

I can't find any other place that will book that far in advance and I don't want to book at the "last" minute. Can anyone provide me with a direction from where I can start? I'm also starting to learn Flemish Dutch (which appears to be somewhat different than "regular" Dutch).

Every year on November 11th I post "In Flanders Fields" on my Facebook page. I would like to go a cemetery and actually recite it, I hope in English, Dutch and French.

I'd prefer to stay in one place and drive to various places each day. I'm not good at staying at a different place every night.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Posted by
7061 posts

You're probably going to have to wait a couple of years at least. I could be wrong, but I'm not aware of any type of lodgings that accept reservations more than a year in advance.

Posted by
11294 posts

In your situation, I recommend researching where you might want to stay, then e-mailing the hostels directly and asking them when they will start accepting reservations for your planned travel dates. The automated booking systems will certainly not be set up to take reservations three years ahead, but you will be ready to "pounce" when they do open up for your dates.

Posted by
4171 posts

To be there on 11/11/2018 -- what a great idea. You've got me thinking about going. I've been to Verdun 3 times and have always had a strong connection with the 2nd decade of the 20th century, especially WWI. Maybe it's because my mother was born on 11/11/1918. You've definitely given me something to think about.

Posted by
2005 posts

You are free to do what you want ofcourse, but why exactly to learn Flemish as "regular" Dutch is okay in Flanders?

Posted by
2 posts

I'd like to learn Flemish Dutch because of the difference between Netherlands Dutch and Flemish Dutch. I've been doing some additional research and it appears that there may not be a large difference between ND and FD, maybe in pronunciation and some words may not quite match.

I don't want to be an "Ugly American" and expect that everyone speak to me in English. I thought if I learned some FD that the Flemish would at least know that I'm trying to use their language.

Would I better off learning Netherlands Dutch?

Thanks.

Posted by
2005 posts

I like your idea to show interest in our language and people you are going to meet surely will like that too.

The differences are indeed not really large, as you say like pronunciation, choice of words not always match, grammar a bit too, what can in some cases give some confusion and a good laugh. Dutch spoken in television programs, like talk shows and news in both countries are in general well to understand for both sides.

Learning the basics of our language will not be easy anyway and if you have plans to visit the Netherlands too, I think it is better to learn Netherlands Dutch. If you master the language enough you can think about a few words typical and practical for Flanders. Not knowing them when in Belgium can give some inconvenience, but I doubt if that is a real hurdle.

A good language course will learn you the words you can use in Belgium as well as in the Netherlands, like the following example shows. For ATM in the Netherlands we often use the in Flanders almost unknown typical word “pinautomaat” ,they use the word “Bancontact” almost unknown in the Netherlands. The word “geldautomaat” however can be used in both countries.

Happy travels.

Posted by
12040 posts

I speak Dutch as a second language and I agree with Will... the differences between the standard Netherlands and Flemish accents are noticable, but not particularly large. The traditional accents of Antwerpen and Gent are a little harder to understand, and West Vlaams is all but unintelligible, even to some native speakers of other dialects, but there's no reason to dive too deeply into these.

One amusing difference is the changing meaning of the word "poepen" on each side of the border.

Posted by
2005 posts

Tom – We moeten het netjes houden, maar de verwarring over poepen blijft grappig! Haha!

Posted by
12040 posts

Ik denk dat de webmaster verstaat geen nederlands...Wij zijn veilig.

Posted by
2005 posts

Oef! Gelukkig, daar komen we mooi mee weg!

Ona - as you see, a few sentences to start with.

Posted by
14159 posts

Maar er is altijd Google Translate om ons lachen!

Posted by
12040 posts

...om ons te lachen.

Google Translate still has its flaws.