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Around the Globe – Belgium

Shira Yehudit Djilimand

All strapped in and ready to go? Today we’re flying to a country most famous for three beautiful items — diamonds, flowers, and chocolates. Guess where? Yes, Belgium!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

At least in Belgium we don’t have to worry about flying low and hitting mountain peaks, as there aren’t any mountains here! In fact Belgium is one of the countries known as the “low countries.” Most of the Flanders region in northern Belgium is flat coastal plains, made up of miles of beautiful sand dunes and polders — land that’s been reclaimed from the sea and protected by dunes and dikes to stop the sea flooding it. Central Belgium is a little hillier, with green hills and valleys, and the Ardennes in southern Belgium is forested and very rocky. Here we can see Belgium’s highest point, the Signal de Botrange, but even that, at only 2,277 feet, is just a big hill! 

Belgium may be short on mountains but it has plenty of water. Hundreds of rivers flow through the country, including rivers that later on flow into famous rivers such as the Rhine, Moselle, and Seine in other countries, and many more, most of which flow into the North Sea. As well as the rivers, Belgium has an impressive network of canals (over 1,600 kilometers), originally built to transport industrial goods but now popular for touring Belgium on a cruise — maybe we should leave our plane and relax on a boat a little?

What with all that water and being on the coast too, it’s not surprising that Belgium’s weather is pretty wet, with rain even in the summer. But with all that water, apparently the water here isn’t so great — in a recent survey, Belgium was found to have the lowest water quality of all the 122 countries in the survey. Hmm, maybe don’t drink the water from the side of the boat!!


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