Have you ever heard of Hasselt? Neither had we before we decided to go there. Now we are happily installed here for a few days before continuing to France. Our first day here was very pleasant – we walked a lot even though it was a really warm day. Both Jesper and I think that this is a good place to stay: it’s big enough for tourism but it’s also very compact. We walk everywhere in a few minutes.
So, why Hasselt?
With a population of about 72,000, it’s not actually a very small town. The location is good, which means that we can go on day trips… Before our trip, Wikipedia told us that Hasselt has two interesting titles: it is the “most sociable city of the region of Flanders”, as well as the “Capital City of Taste”. Especially the latter sounds promising as we are on a quest to find good food and drinks on this trip.
The Things We Saw and Did in Hasselt
We arrived in Hasselt yesterday at around 10 pm. It is the capital of the easternmost of the Dutch-speaking provinces, Limburg, and it is very close to the Netherlands.
This morning we slept late before heading out to explore the town. As we are staying quite centrally, it only takes a couple of minutes before we’re in the very center of this city.
One positive thing about this city is that the center is practically car-free. There are also a lot of cozy cafés and brasseries around the Grand Place. Tonight people were learning how to tango on the Main Square. Two of the oldest – and most fascinating – buildings are the St. Quentin’s Cathedral (11th to 18th centuries) and the “Herkenrode Abbey refuge house” (1542). We don’t seem to have any photos of those buildings, though…
Hasselt also has a Primark and of course, we had to take a look at it after lunch. I used to shop a lot at Primark during my university days, unfortunately, it wasn’t as much fun anymore.
I usually love botanical gardens and parks. And guess what? This is the perfect destination for people like me as there are lots of parks. However, there’s an admission fee for all the parks, so I decided to only choose one.
We once visited a Japanese garden in Tallinn, and I wanted to see the one here as well. This Japanese garden is actually the biggest of its kind in Europe and it was worth a visit. It was so peaceful to walk around there while listening to the water.
Statistics (Travemünde -> Hasselt)
The second leg of the journey is now behind us and here is the driving statistics for the route between Travemünde and Hasselt.
Distance: 684 kilometers
Time: 8h 41 min
Average speed: 78,2 km/h
Fuel consumption: 36,4 liters
Average: 5,3 L/100km
Tomorrow we are planning to go to Maastricht on the Dutch side of the border.