Disclaimer: I am using a french keyboard, which is just different enough to be VERY annoying. Please excuse strangely puncutated sentences or typos:
When I was in the Netherlands I was trying to plan out where I would go in Belgium and was given some solid advice: Do NOT miss Bruges and do not bother with Liège; it is the ugliest city in Europe. Of course when I heard this I thought to myself I MUST see this city. I was convinced that I could find the redeeming qualities of the city. I searched high (I climbed the 373 stairs of Montagne de Bueren) and I searched low (the rest of the city) but have yet to find something spectacular. However; the inhabitants of the city seem to be content, leaving me to wonder what I have missed. In search of answers, I headed towards the Cathedral. It really is quite stunning and it backs onto a courtyard where I found a bench and consulted my Bible. According to the Book; Liège “always makes an impression… [it is] a gritty place that takes time to know.” Well, that kind of accuracy is why I read my Lonley Planet before I go to sleep at night. So if it takes time to know, I can only assume that Liège is Europe`s version of Sudbury: visitors will leave uninspired but once you live there a while you gain an appreciation for the city and its surroundings. I am not commited enough to this hypothesis to stay longer than one night, but if anyone does stick it out in Liège for a while please let me know how it goes!
That said; Bruges was stunning. I am too frustrated with the french keyboard to go into much detail but I am glad that I was convinced not to skip it. Tomorrow I head to Brussels for two nights before heading to Amsterdam. I hope all is well with everyone qt home.