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Belgium & The Netherlands


MAY 11 - MAY 22
ESTIMATED COST $3,450 (+ tuition credits if applicable) includes airfare, lodging, some meals, admission and all but some local transportation costs. 




  • May 11: Departure. We depart Cleveland and arrive the next day in Brussels, Belgium.
  • May 12: Brussels. We arrive in the morning, and have the rest of the day to explore this wonderful city, visiting such places as the Grand-Place, the historic city center, several cathedrals, and the iconic Manneken Pis.
  • May 13: Brussels. Today we venture out to visit the Belgian icons, the Atomium and the Palais de Justice, and in the afternoon there's some scheduled free time to wander on your own. Group dinner in planned.
  • May 14: Brussels: NATO & EU. Our visit to NATO HQ will include a general introduction to NATO and information about current political issues, along with a meeting with a representative from one member's delegation. In the afternoon, we will be visiting the European Union headquarters to learn about their role in European governance.
  • May 15: Leuven. Some of the most beautiful medieval buildings left in the world are here, including its magnificent 15th century town hall. Leuven's Groot Begijnhof neighborhood was founded by a unique order of women in 1292 and now, a Unesco World Heritage site, is an ideal place for a walk. Wander the narrow cobbled streets and admire the homes, gardens and the church of this walled community.
  • May 16: Bruges. This medieval city with its scenic canals and cobbled streets, beautifully decorated houses, old guild halls, and churches never fails to surprise and delight its visitors. We will wander around this city, exploring famous sites including the Basilica of the Holy Blood, climbing the stairs of the Bell Tower, shopping in the famous chocolateries and lace shops, and simply wandering the cobbled streets, soaking up the lovely atmosphere, munching a waffle or some frites with mayonnaise.
  • May 17: Ypres and Ghent. Ypres was the deadliest spot on the 70-mile front held by Imperial and Empire troops in World War I. Over a quarter of a million men gave their lives to hold this last bit of Belgium from the Germans. Although history records three great battles, it was in fact a constant battle against shell, bullet, bomb, gas, water and rats. We will explore some of what remains of this historic battlefield. In the afternoon, we will make our way to Ghent, one of the country's noted art cities, a port city crossed by waterways and canals. We will enjoy a visit to the city's main highlights, including St. Bavo's Cathedral and the 13th-century castle Gravensteen.
  • May 18: The Hague. We cross into the Netherlands, and visit The Hague, home to the Royal Family, the seat of Dutch government, and the Peace Palace. Here you can see the fabulous medieval Parliament buildings, the Lange Verhoot area with its spectacular homes and the almost hidden former servant houses. Highlights today include a visit the International Criminal Court, and Mauritshuis, where you can see masterpieces by Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Rubens. In taking part in Dutch colonial heritage, this evening a traditional Indonesian rice table dinner is planned.
  • May 19: Amsterdam. There's simply so much to see and do in Amsterdam. Depending on interests, we may visit the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum for the finest collection of Dutch old masters, the Anne Frank Museum, the flower market, Dam Square, and the Resistance Museum dedicated to the local culture and resistance movement during the World War II occupation.
  • May 20: Delft and Leiden. In the morning, we'll explore the canal town of Delft, one of the most important colonial-era ports and the traditional home of Dutch pottery. The afternoon takes us to Leiden, another beautiful Dutch town with charming canal lined streets and lovely architecture. The birthplace of Rembrandt and the current home to the oldest university in the country, this was also home to the original Pilgrim Fathers for 12 years prior to boarding the Mayflower for their voyage to the New World.
  • May 21: The Dutch countryside and Antwerp. We will take the coastal route along the North Sea back towards Belgium. There is the Zeeland Bridge to cross and the Dutch city of Veere, a historic port and fortress. We can see Neetje Jans, the movable Dam that safeguards the islands in this Province of Zeeland against the power of the sea. We'll then pass through Antwerp, known for numerous architectural highlights from the 16th and the 17th centuries. There's the Grote Markt to see, as well as the stunning cathedral, considered the most important gothic cathedral in Belgium.
  • May 22: Fly home from Brussels.