Loreto Visits Brussels and Bruges

On the 24th October sixty five third year students and seven teachers set sail for Belgium to visit the cities of Brussels and Bruges. After a short flight with Aer Lingus the group checked into the Meininger Hotel (an old Brewery that was later converted to a Hotel).  That night the group enjoyed dinner in the hotel and bowling at the Super Bowling Crosby. On the Saturday morning after breakfast, the group headed into the main square of Brussels to meet their tour guide for a short walking tour of Brussels. In the afternoon the group visited Mini Europe. This is the only park where you can have a whistle-stop tour around Europe in a few short hours. A truly unique voyage! The students strolled amid the typical ambiance of the most beautiful towns of the Old Continent. That night the students visited the UGC De Brouckère cinema and while some went to see the film Dracula, the majority went to see Maze Runner!!

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On the Sunday the group spent most of the day in Walibi Themepark. This is an amusement park with several sensational attractions! Calamity Mine, Radja River, the staggering Werewolf and for those who know no fear there were attractions like Vampire and Dalton Terror. On the Monday the group visited the medieval city of Bruges. This is referred as the ‘Venice of the North’ and this preserved town is well worth a visit.  The students got the opportunity to explore inside the city walls and to see the churches, castle, canals, chocolate shops, colourful homes and museums. As an introduction to experience the city’s beautiful and historical sites, the group got the opportunity to cruise on the picturesque canals of Bruges. That evening the group enjoyed a visit to the Hardrock café and had some free time afterwards to explore Brussels at night time.

On the Tuesday (our final day) the students got the opportunity to visit Fort Breendonk Concentration Camp, which has not been spared the horror of Nazism and its concentration camps. The fortress of Breendonk is a moving and striking example. It is one of the best conserved camps in Europe. Breendonk is only a dot on the gruesome map of concentration camps, but one which witnessed the same desire to annihilate the individual, which shared the same objective of enslaving and negating the human person.

Thanks to the wealth of information they assimilated in thecourse of their visit, no student went away without having formed a precise idea of its history, and of racial and political persecution in particular, thanks to a well-structured cooperation with the Jewish Museum of Malines. Finally it was off for some free timeand last minute shopping before heading back to Brussels International Airport for the flight home. A great time was had by all!!Thank you.

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