holland, belgium & Normandy

Thanks to Rick,

our family has in the past 6 years travelled to London & Paris (2002) and Bavaria & Austria (2006) We are looking at the Netherlands, Belgium and Normandy for the summer of 2009. We have no love of big cities so we like to drive around and see small town Europe. Does this sound reasonable for a 2 week stay? Fly into Amsterdam. spend a couple of days(..train to Haarlem one day). Rent a car and travel to Veere, Delft, Maastricht and other small towns for 3-4 more days.(Any you recommend? What should we not miss in Holland??) Drive into Belgium, do Bruges and other small towns (any ideas ??? same question has above)4-5 days. I really have no interest in Brussels or is that a big mistake? How far is Bastogne from Bruge? Drive into Normandy (3 days).Drop off car and take train to Paris to fly home

Posted by Tom
Lewiston, NY
10588 posts

Sounds like your route of travel after you leave Maastricht will take you through Limburg province in Belgium. Check out the open air museum, Bokrijk, near Genk, for a great overview of Flemish culture. The nearby small city of Hasselt lacks what most would consider any major tourist sites, but its compact center is very pleasant for walking, shopping, people watching, dining, and this being Belgium, drinking.

Posted by Janis
Grapevine, TX, USA
873 posts

If you like small towns, you should love Bruges. After you tire of its beauty & peacefulness, it would be a wonderful base for day trips. Normandy is also beautiful with lovely small villages.
Have a great trip!

Posted by Al
Nottingham, UK
658 posts

I can't recommend Delft enough. It's really wonderful and there's lots to see and do. The canal trip isn't really that great but the horse drawn bus ride from the central square is not to be missed. If you have time you really must visit the porcelain factory and if you're in Delft on a Saturday morning don't miss the flea market.

It's also home to one of my favourite bars in all the world 'Locus Publicus' on Koormarkt. It's a great place to sit outside and people watch.

I also love Pannekooken (Sp ? ) at Stads Pannekooken House.

Delft is just heaven

Posted by Shannon
Macclenny, Florida
23 posts

You asked if missing Brussels was a big mistake. It's just my opinion, but I wasted a full day there when I could have had more time in Bruges or elsewhere. It's just a big city, and kind of dirty and crowded. Mannekin Pis was cute but that was five minutes of our time, after we made our way through the crowds to see it.

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1270 posts

Did you want suggestions for your time in Normandy? If so, please look at the second post that I left for Marilyn this morning under Paris 3 days.

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
4575 posts

In Belgium it would be a shame to miss Antwerp.