Thursday, February 12, 2015

Show Me Around Your Neighborhood: Mons, Belgium

Here's my latest blogging activity.  Today's entry is a part of Piri-Piri Lexicon's "show me your neighborhood around the world" project. I first participated in this project last year when I shared pictures of the city I (then) called home: Tirana, Albania. Fast forward and year and I'm now in Mons, Belgium. Life here couldn't be more different than Albania and in this post, I'm sharing a bit of my current world with you.

The rules are simple:  Post a minimum of six pictures of typical scenes from around your neighborhood.  Photos must be taken by the blogger (in this case me!) and include a typical mode of transportation, a school or educational facility, a market or shopping facility, a typical house, a nearby street, and a playground.

Typical city houses are attached and made of brick, stone or a combination
of both. What they lack in street presence is often made up for by small
rear gardens. Many streets are pedestrian only or vehicle traffic is limited to
residents only. Parking is either on street or in very small garages that may be
attached to the houses or located nearby.

Belgians love their cars. Compact cars that is since streets are narrow, parking spaces
are even smaller and parking garages, when they exist, are designed with low ceilings
and narrow entrances. But as much as cars are loved here, there is a robust public
transportation system in Mons. Trains can whisk you to Brussels in less than 45
minutes and the  bus system that has routes through even the smallest villages making
it possible, although a bit inconvenient, to get just about any place you want to go.

Mons is a university town with the school having campuses spread
throughout the city. This, however,  is my neighborhood public school.
Like the houses here, schools are made of brick and stone and blend in
with their surroundings.  Any outdoor space is located in inner
courtyards out of view from the public.

This is a local playground. Playgrounds attached to schools tend
 to be small and for the use of their students only. Neighborhood
parks provide a small amount of play space for kids.

Belgians love their markets and Mons is no exception.
Sundays and Fridays are market days in Mons and you
can buy everything from fresh flowers and antiques to
plants, vegetables, meats and cheeses at the markets
which are set up throughout the city center. This picture is
of the herb market on the city's Grand Place.

Many of the streets in the center of Mons are

The Mons Belfry is a UNESCO World Heritage site....

....and its grounds often serve as a pubic gathering place. Here, the Belfry's grounds
play host to a World War I camp. The reenactment commemorated the opening  battle
of Britain's involvement in the War.

The heart of the city is the Grand Place. Each September
the Mons hosts "Tanks in Town" a celebration of the
Allied liberation of Mons during World War II.

Mons' grand cathedral: the Collegiate Church of Saint Waudru 

Mons is a 2015 European Capital of Culture and as such, festivities are planned for the entire year.
The opening ceremony was held in January to kick off a year of celebrating the arts.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you are so lucky to be able to live there! Looks cold, but still looks like a lovely place to live.