James Rogers, 45, originally from North Dakota, is a writer who settled in Brussels, Belgium, 11 years ago. He is finishing his first book, “96 Degrees of Separation: The Parallel Lives of Adam & Yves,” about how government policies make everyday life different for Europeans and Americans.
It’s a popular place, with a tourist center and a small museum, but usually you don’t have to wait a long time – except once every five years, when they re-enact the battle. Next year, the 200th anniversary, should be amazing to see. The north of Belgium also has well-known World War I battlefields such as Ypres. Like in the poem, “In Flanders fields the poppies blow ...”
For travelers, the greatest thing about Brussels is that it’s so close to so many other places. Bruges, a perfectly preserved medieval city, and its modern sister city of Ghent, both have amazing sights and are just a short train ride away. You can even visit four different countries in four days – American friends visit me a lot because of this: Aachen, Germany, and Lille, France, are both 90 minutes away; Maastricht, a cute Dutch university town, is even closer.