Neel Doff was a writer of Dutch descent living and working in Belgium. Her life reads like an adventure book.
You think you know Flanders and the Netherlands. But take it from us, you haven’t seen anything yet. British journalist Derek Blyth takes you on microadventures to L-Spots, hidden and exciting places in the Low Countries.
Hiking enthusiasts in Europe’s flattest country have created the Dutch Mountain Trail.
With its 500 kilometres of coast, the Netherlands is suitable for every holiday season. Thanks to the many beach bars, you do not have to compromise on comfort.
Men from Leuven with the same year of birth unite at 40 to prepare for their 50th anniversary.
The former headquarters of the Holland America Line in Rotterdam brings together residents, businessmen and tourists in the grandeur of the turn of the century.
The Dutch are riding their bikes everywhere, always and in any weather. Even when they have to battle against gale-force winds.
‘In God we trust,’ it says on every United States dollar bill. ‘In Flemish flax we also trust,’ it might add.
The company that "bought" Manhattan was based in a handsome classical building that is still standing on the Herenmarkt in the heart of Amsterdam.
The Dutch artist and cycle activist Mapije de Wit encourages her fellow cyclists to sing while cycling.
What was once Belgium's finest cinema is today a vibrant cultural centre and performance venue in the heart of a multicultural neighbourhood.
The people of Groningen would like one of their city gates to be handed back.
People all over the world crave a Flemish speculoos biscuit based on wheat flour and candy syrup or caramelised sugar.
The most famous dictionary of the Dutch language is named after its creator, a nineteenth-century teacher from the Dutch border town of Sluis.
Few people know that the British Grenadier Guards got their start in Bruges.
Perhaps the most bizarre bridges ever built in the Netherlands can be seen in Spijkenisse.
In Bruges, Derek Blyth dwells on a brilliant sixteenth-century mathematician who was also known as 'the Belgian Archimedes' or 'the Leonardo Da Vinci of the Low Countries'.
A dusty plaque on the wall of a Brussels sandwich shop marks the site where Multatuli wrote his classic novel Max Havelaar.
Get to know Amsterdam and its inhabitants through its carved façade stones decorating the canalside houses.
An abandoned sixteenth-century chapel in Ghent was given a new lease of life thanks to internationally renowned artist Berlinde de Bruyckere.
The American Protestant Church of The Hague was originally built for the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels.
The pretty beach town of De Haan in West Flanders is dotted with reminders of its most famous visitor.
Derek Blyth visits a church that looks more like a pyramid from a science fiction film than a house of prayer.
It is still something of a guilty secret, but Middelburg grew prosperous from the slave trade.
Discover the tiny village of Zennegat, one of the most remote spots in Flanders.
In a country with five billion trips by bicycle a year, special roundabouts are no luxury. No wonder the Dutch make roundabouts look like design masterpieces. And now they are spreading to progressive cities around the world.
The British have a longstanding love affair with the Duffel coat. It is named after the cloth made in a small Flemish town, though it is hard to establish a link between the town and the coat.
The overgrown Campo Santo cemetery clings to a low hill in the Ghent suburb of Sint-Amandsberg has been described as the Flemish Père Lachaise.
Heisteeg, one of the narrowest streets of Amsterdam, has sparked off a furious debate about overtourism.
Although its roots date back to 1515, Café Vlissinghe in Bruges is anything but sleepy.
Looking for exciting places in the Low Countries, British journalist Derek Blyth stumbled upon the castle where baroque painter Rubens spent the last years of his life.
The reading table is a piece of Dutch heritage that has survived in lots of cafes, including the one named after writer Harry Mulisch in Café Americain.
Amsterdam has overtaken London as Europe’ main share trading hub for the first time since the 17th century.
The only remaining medieval castle in Flanders with a virtually intact defence system faces a new threat.
Whenever Derek Blyth visits Amsterdam, he can't help but pop into the iconic Athenaeum Boekhandel. ‘Buying a book there is almost a religious experience.’
Art photographer Athos Burez tackled 'The Baths of Ostend', the famous painting by James Ensor, and gave it his own interpretation.
Abraham Ortelius’ map, inspired by Thomas More’s book, is dotted with amusing place names that suggest the whole thing was a joke.
Back in the 1960s, the Germans had their VWs, the Italians their Fiat 500s, the French the Citroën 2CVs, and the Dutch? A sensible car called the DAF.
After having stood empty for 22 years, the Antwerp Stock Exchange building or the Handelsbeurs, opened to the public again.
When in Amsterdam, Derek Blyth likes to travel by ferry. It's free and fun.
Have you ever wondered where those cargo bikes come from?
Every evening since 1928, a group of buglers has sounded the Last Post in Ypres to honour the soldiers who died in WWI in Flanders Fields.
In 2002, the Dutch poet F. Starik came up with the idea of the Poule des doods – a pool of poets who write and read a poem for the people who have no mourners at their funeral.
Utopia is not always an imaginary place. That is what Derek Blyth discovered when he entered the stunning city library of Aalst.
The oldest Dutch department store chain De Bijenkorf is celebrating its 150th year.
Derek Blyth pays tribute to the man who has shown us the way for more than four hundred years: the Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator.
Derek Blyth invites you to walk in the footsteps of stanley brouwn, the first artist who claimed walks as art.
Walking through Brussels, sooner or later you will come across Pieter Bruegel the Elder and his enigmatic art. Derek Blyth would join you in a minute.
Since it was established in 1971, ‘De Engelbewaarder’ has been known as the first literary café in the Netherlands. Not only John Irving once drank a beer there.
Most people assume the sensible Dutch have always cycled. But the story is more complicated.
Derek Blyth invites you to discover the Jewish Community of Antwerp, one of the largest in Europe.
Looking for remarkable places in the Low Countries, British journalist Derek Blyth ends up eating fast food from the wall in Amsterdam.
Derek Blyth urges you to visit the old-fashioned pubs of Flanders, while you still have the chance.
Whoever visits the Netherlands, can't ignore them. Sooner or later you walk into one of the 550 Hema shops to buy a bicycle bell, sandwich or stapler. The brand is as Dutch as the tulip.
In the midst of nature, in the East Flemish municipality of Stekene, you can visit one of the largest private art collections in Europe.
The small cemeteries in and around Ypres provide a unique way of understanding the First World War.
75 years ago, a German V2 bomb hit the popular Cinema Rex in Antwerp. 567 people were killed. It took more than a week to recover their bodies from under the rubble.
In the past 'Praathuisjes' were only used by old men and sailors to catch up with a cup of coffee. Now everyone is welcome.
The bicycle and car sharing that we know today can be traced back to the ‘White Bicycles’ and ‘White Cars’ initiated by the Provo movement.
Derek Blyth lets himself be overwhelmed by the multi-talent Rubens. Or is it by his love for the human flesh?
Dutch artists painted a giant bookcase on an apartment building in Utrecht featuring residents’ favorite books.
Visit any town or city in Belgium and you will find fries. Derek Blyth pays tribute to the humble fritkot.
Did you know there is a Dutch town called Austerlitz with a pyramid nearby, built by Napoleon’s soldiers?
Derek Blyth points out a unique Belgian phenomenon, the trade in paper beach flowers.
Derek Blyth expresses his love for the carillons of Flanders and the Netherlands.
Derek Blyth goes on a literary pilgrimage in Willem Elsschot’s Antwerp.
Derek Blyth hits the road in a very Dutch phenomenon, the caravan.
Derek Blyth ends up in a deserted village that refuses to die.
Derek Blyth visits the Sahara of the North.