Most people think they have Flanders - the Dutch-speaking rthern half of Belgium - figured out: beer, chocolate and the EU are the standard tag lines. However, dig beneath the surface and you will discover a region of quirk and style. Author Emma Thomson introduces travellers t only to the World Heritage Sites of Brussels' Grand Place or Bruges' romantic canals but also to snug spots, like the bewitched village of Laarne and Geraardsbergen, the real home of Manneken-Pis. Flanders provides something for everyone: the city-break or business tourist seeking restaurants and shopping; the wildlife and outdoor enthusiast after bird-watching and rural walks; the traveller wishing to seek out towns, villages and countryside off the beaten track; and the visitor in search of luxury and pampering. Dress up and join the merry madness of Aalst Carnival, spend the night in a traditional begijnhof, or simply people-watch over a bowl of mosselen-friet in Bruges' medieval town square. Entertaining and instructing in equal measure, Bradt's Flanders is the first guidebook to cover the entire region in depth. Join Emma Thomson on a journey along romantic canals, through bewitched villages and to bohemian cafes in this beguiling corner of Europe. Proost!
Emma Thomson was formerly Commissioning Editor at Bradt Travel Guides and now works as a freelance writer and photographer. A member of the British Guild of Travel Writers, she writes for international magazines, newspapers and publishers. She first visited Flanders nine years ago after falling for a Fleming and has been totting up her Eurostar frequent-traveller points ever since - she was even lucky enough to live in a farmhouse (complete with sheep, chickens and rabbits) near Aalst for a year. www.ethomson.co.uk