#TravelPost – A charming little town called Mons

EN: If you prefer traveling and visiting charming small towns over large metropolises, Mons, Belgium should definitely be on your list. RO: Daca preferi sa calatoresti si sa vizitezi orase mici pline de farmec in locul marilor metropole, Mons, Belgia, trebuie sa fie pe lista ta.

EN: Discover this lively city where time seems to move differently, offering desirable tranquility. With its title as the European City of Culture in 2015, Mons has firmly established itself on the tourism map. RO: Un oras plin de viata, unde timpul pare sa curga in alt ritm, oferind o liniste aparte. Cu titlul de Capitala Europeana a Culturii in 2015, Mons s-a impus in mod definitiv pe harta turistica.

EN: What to visit in Mons, Belgium?
Only by strolling through the streets, you’ll come across numerous significant landmarks. One of the most striking is the Gothic church of Sainte-Waudru, dating back to the 5th Century, often compared to Notre Dame in Paris.
RO: Ce poti vizita in Mons, Belgia?
Doar plimbandu-te pe strazi, vei descoperi numeroase obiective interesante. Un exemplu impresionant este Biserica Gotica Sainte-Waudru, datand din secolul al V-lea, adesea comparata cu Notre Dame din Paris.

EN: In the heart of Mons lies the Grand-Place, a beautiful square filled with terraces and cafés. Here, you’ll find the remarkable Hôtel de Ville (town hall). Don’t forget to touch the head of the monkey statue at the entrance, as it is believed to grant wishes. Originally, it was meant to assist women that wanted to get pregnant. RO: In centrul Mons se afla Grand-Place, o piata frumoasa cu terase si cafenele. Aici vei gasi remarcabilul Hôtel de Ville (primaria). Nu uita sa atingi capul unei statui cu o maimuta de la intrare, deoarece se crede ca iti indeplineste dorintele. Initial, aceasta era destinata sa ajute femeile care isi doresc sa ramana insarcinate.

EN: You cannot miss the Belfry of Mons, one of the 33 Belfries in Belgium. It now serves as a museum, offering a permanent exhibition and a breathtaking view from the top. RO: Nu poti rata Belfry din Mons, unul dintre cele 33 de turnuri Belfry din Belgia. Acum gazduieste un muzeu, cu o expozitie permanenta si o priveliste  minunata de sus.

EN: As mentioned above, Mons was the European City of Culture in 2015 so that’s why in 2021 there were still impressive cultural manifestations, structures, and constructions around the city. RO: Cum spuneam mai sus, Mons a fost Capitala Culturala Europeana in 2015 si din acest motiv in 2021 mai puteai gasi prin oras diverse manifestari culturale, constructii si structuri de genul.

La petite fille aux papillons / artist David Mesguich (o gasesti in piata Franklin Delano Roosevelt).

L’Escapade / artist Oli-B (in gradina Gustave Jacobs)

The Passenger / artist Arne Quinze (sculptura de lemn ocupa strada Nimy).

EN: How to get to Mons from Bucharest?
To reach Mons from Bucharest, you can take a flight and the train to Charleroi-South train station. More details on this post (scroll to the end). From Charleroi-South, you can easily catch a train to Mons for a one-way ticket price of 9 EUR.
RO: Cum ajungi din Bucuresti in Mons?
Pentru a ajunge la Mons din Bucuresti, poti lua un avion si apoi un tren pana la statia Charleroi-South. Mai multe detalii in acest post (scroll pana jos). De acolo, poti lua un tren catre Mons, cu un pret de 9 EUR pentru un bilet dus.

#TravelPost – One day in the medieval city of Bruges

EN: Initially, I wanted to write one post about Belgium, but once I started putting my thoughts into words and looking through pictures I realized I have to dedicate one post to each of the 5 cities I visited in this unique and special country. First Bruges because it was the first place I wanted to visit (and the only other city I knew besides Brussels) once I’ve decided to go to Belgium. RO: Initial mi-am propus sa scriu un post despre Belgia, dar cum am inceput sa asez in cuvinte amintirile si sa ma uit printre poze am realizat ca vreau sa dedic un post diferit pentru fiecare dintre cele 5 orase vizitate in aceasta tara unica si speciala. Incep cu Bruges, fiind primul loc in care mi-am dorit sa ajung din momentul in care am decis sa calatoresc in Belgia.

EN: Bruges has a distinct medieval air because of the captivating architecture, with impressive old buildings, like gingerbread houses, and more than 80 old or new bridges that cross over its canals. Bruges is often called the “Venice of the North“. RO: Bruges are un aer medieval aparte datorita arhitecturii captivante, cu ale sale  cladiri vechi, care zici ca sunt din turta dulce, si cele peste 80 de poduri mai vechi sau mai noi care trec peste canelele orasului. Bruges este numit adesea “Venetia de Nord“.

EN: What to visit in Bruges? You can just walk through the narrow paved streets and you will be easily enchanted by colored and brick facade houses in typical style of Flemish architecture. Most of these houses have been turned into shops and impressive top list restaurants. There are 32 Bruges chefs recommended by Michelin, Gault&Millau and Bibgourmand. RO: Ce poti vizita in Bruges? Poti doar sa te plimbi pe stradutele inguste, pavate cu piatra, iar cladirile colorate sau cu fatade de caramida, specifice arhitecturii flamande, te vor cuceri cu usurinta. Majoritatea cladirilor au fost transformate in magazine sau restaurante impresionante de top. In Bruges 32 de maestrii bucatari sunt recomandati de Michelin, Gault&Millau si Bibgourmand

EN: If you get to the city by train as you head to the old city you cannot miss Minnewater Park. The Lake Of Love is the heart of the park, surrounded by trees, green lawns and dozens of white swans. Lovers believe that walking around this lake will bring you eternal love! RO: Daca ajungi in oras cu trenul, cum te indrepti spre centru, nu ai cum sa ratezi Parcul Minnewater. Chiar in centrul parcului este Lacul Iubirii imprejurat de copaci si zone verzi cu zeci de lebede albe. Indragostitii cred ca daca te plimbi aici vei avea parte de dragoste eterna!

EN: One step away from Sint-Jacobskerk – Saint Jacob’s church or Saint James’s Church – an iconic old gothic church, founded in 1240, you will find Bonifacius Bridge, one of the most photographed bridges in Bruges. It really has a special vibe and maybe because of it’s location, many say it is one of the oldest, but actually dates back to 1910. RO: Chiar langa Sint-Jacobskerk – Biserica Sfantul Iacob – o cladire remarcanta in stil gotic construita in 1240 o sa ajungeti la podul Bonifacius, unul dintre cele mai fotografiate poduri in Bruges. Are cu adevarat un aer aparte si poate ca din cauza pozitionarii sale multi spun ca este printre cele mai vechi poduri, dar de fapt a fost construit in 1910.

EN: Another interesting building, architectural and also story-wise is located in Burg Square, the Basilica of the Holy Blood. The church gets its name from a relic said to contain the blood of Jesus Christ. RO: O alta cladire interesanta din punct de vedere arhitectural, cat si a istoriei sale este Biserica Sfantului Sange din piata Burg. Se presupune ca aici se afla o relicva care contine picaturi cu sangele lui Isus Hristos.

EN: And here we are in the main square Bruges’ Markt, filled with amazing & one-of-a-kind buildings. On one side you can find guild houses with rich and opulent architecture that in present days have been turned into restaurants. The way they were built was meant to be an expression of wealth and power. RO: Iata ca am ajuns in piata centrala Bruges’ Markt cu multe cladiri captivante si unice. Pe o parte a pietei sunt casele de breasla, cu o arhitectura bogata, opulenta, care in prezent au fost transformate in restaurante. Modul in care au fost construite s-a dorit a fi o expresie a bogatiei si puterii.

EN: Also in the main square is the Belfry of Bruges. It is one of 33 Belgian belfries that are protected as World Heritage sites. If you go up the 366 steps you will have an unforgettable panoramic view of Bruges and her surroundings. RO: Tot in piata centrala este turnul Belfry din Bruges, unul dintre cele 33 de turnuri Belfry din Belgia protejate ca situri de patrimoniu mondial. Daca urci cele 366 de trepte vei avea parte de o priveliste panoramia de neuitat al orasului si ale imprejurimilor sale.

EN: How to get to Bruges from Bucharest? More exactly, how I got there 😉 From Bucharest Otopeni Airport you first take a plane to Brussels South Charleroi Airport. Search the low-cost airlines (Ryanair, Wizz Air) and you will find tickets at reasonable prices (starting from 50 EUR). From the airport take one bus (TEC, ticket 3 EUR one way) directly to Charleroi-South train station and from there, you have a train directly to Bruges (ticket about 23 EUR one way). RO: Cum ajungi din Bucuresti in Bruges? Mai exact cum am ajuns eu 😉 Mai intai din aeroportul Otopeni Bucurest te urci in avionul pana la aeroportul Brussels South Charleroi. Cauta la companiile low-cost (Ryanair, Wizz Air) si vei gasi bilete la preturi rezonabila (de la 50 EUR). O data ce ai aterizat in aeroport poti lua autobuzul TEC (bilet 3 EUR) in directia gara Charleroi-South, iar de acolo ai tren direct catre Bruges (biletul aproximativ 23 EUR one way).

Hope you get to see Bruges as soon as the world opens again. Kisses :* my darlings!