Belgium consists of two parts - Wallonia and Flanders. They speak there in
French and Flemish respectively. This rather artificial association took place
in 1830. Before, this territory was part of Burgundy, and then the Netherlands.
Walloons and Flemish historically dislike each other and almost simultaneously
with the formation of the state, separatist sentiments have been formed.
Brussels is the historical capital of Flanders, but it is administratively allocated to a special metropolitan region. Moreover, it is located exactly between Wallonia and Flanders, and they speak there, mostly in French. The capital of Wallonia is Namur.
Even abstracting from language differences, it is impossible not to notice the difference between these two regions.
Flanders practically does not differ from the Netherlands.
In the churches hang paintings of Flemish painters ...
Wallonia is a worsened version of
France, in the sense that it is dirtier and more
emigrants. So many Arabs and Negroes (sorry,
Afro-Belgians :) I have not seen anywhere else in
Europe. The overall impression is that they represent
the main nation.
For example, when I was traveling from Maasmechelen to Maastricht, near a school, a large group of Arab girls loaded into the bus, which, however, chatted among themselves in French. There were no other girls within sight, apparently an Arabic institution. There, and the mosque looked through ... They were dressed quite in accordance with their traditions - wrapped from head to toe, however, without burqa. I have not anything against it, and what do I care about the life of the Belgians? But, in the center of Europe it looks somewhat unnatural ...
Still, a rather strange custom to exhibit large sacks of rubbish near the entrances. Apparently, this is done with the accumulation of debris and by the evening the sidewalks are forced by these sacks to the outset. In the morning, garbage cars pass through the city and they are collected.
Trains seem to be the same throughout Belgium, but, in Wallonia, very often the scoreboards in the cars do not work and do not declare a stop - sometimes it is difficult to navigate.
Tickets for the train in Belgium, in contrast to neighboring Germany, where it is more convenient and cheaper to use the ticket machine, you need to buy at the ticket office. In principle, ticket machines are also available, but they are not popular, because is not taken cash, and only exotic cards are accepted. I tried to buy tickets in advance, online. I have never seen any discounts, unlike the French and German railways, but, at least no need waiting in queues at the cash desk (and they can be very decent during rush hours).
Interesting, the cost of the ticket depends only on the route, i.e. you can go in the train with all stops, and in speedy train - for one price. Exception - high-speed trains, where tickets sold with the indication of places.
Sometimes there are funny old trains, similar to a tram.
Belgian beer is deservedly considered one of the best in the world.