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Kemwel Travel Blog

Kemwel makes it easy to book the best discounted travel services and car rentals in Europe. Whether you need a rental car, a buy back auto lease, airfare, hotel reservations, or even a luxury auto rental, Kemwel can meet your needs. Check out our car rental guides for useful travel and driving information. Drive Europe!

We have been driven to provide the guaranteed best travel service at the best price. We guarantee it with our beat rate policy and our philosophy of no surprises or hidden costs.

If you have any questions, you can contact us online or call us toll free at 1-877-820-0668.

Belgium, Beyond Great Beer

If we were to play a game of word association and I said, “Belgium”, your answer would likely be a prompt, “beer and/or chocolate.” While I personally agree that both of these heady and decadent goods are more than enough reason to make a vacation beeline for Belgium, this diminutive country has more to offer than palatable pleasures (although those are significant).

Art or Vandalism

Graffiti by definition, is the unauthorized defacement of public property and surfaces, and while the line between art and vandalism may be relative to some, by and large it is considered a big no-no. The city of Ghent has taken a different approach to the inevitable artistic endeavors of some of its local and visiting citizens since the early 90’s. City officials choose to provide graffiti artists a special space for their expressive works, unhindered by building owners and the authorities. This area has become an attraction that sees a consistent and appreciative flow of tourist traffic, while Ghent has enjoyed a fairly successful, city-wide clean-up project. Ranging from child-like scrawls to imaginative and detailed pictures, there is an average turn-around time of 3 – 5 days for graffiti artists to revamp surfaces with their own works of art, covering that of others. Whenever you happen to visit, there’s sure to be a new…exhibit to view.

Belgium, travel blogs, Ghent, graffiti, graffiti artists,

Ghent has an inspirational idea of mutual benefit to graffiti artists and the city. Give them some space.

An Open-Air Exhibit

Observing the gardens and architecture of a city as though they are an open air exhibit is a quintessential pastime for most travelers. It offers insight into the city’s roots and inspires streams of curious speculation as you journey between the visual feast of the past and the present.

Some of the world’s most famous constructs of today were created as “temporary” exhibits for the World Fairs of yesteryear. Paris presented us with the Eiffel Tower, Chicago unveiled the Ferris wheel, and Brussels built the eccentricly styled but undoubtedly eye-catching Atomium. Of the nine spheres engineered to resemble the unit cell of an iron crystal, five are accessible to the public. The topmost sphere offers a scenic view of Brussels from its interior. You’ll have to find out for yourself what else is inside!

At an alternate end of the architectural spectrum, Brussels Palais Coudenberg was once a lavishly appointed palace of the late King Charles V. Today the remains have been excavated and the atmosphere of the underground halls and corridors radiate an eerie chill during your self-guided tour, particularly when closer to dusk. Enter through the Musee Belvue and we recommend that you ask for the audio aid as a helpful accessory to your explorations.

If you can time your visit to coincide with Brussels Festival Carolus V-Coudenberg, you’ll see history come alive as you’re transported back to the time of the Renaissance with introductions into period dancing and music, Renaissance food tastings and games lend a greater level authenticity and fun to this all ages event.

Belgium, travel blog, Mont des ARts,

A picturesque glimpse of the city from the Mont des Arts in Brussels heart.

Tall Tales and Folklore

The legend of Lange Wapper, while told in various towns in Belgium, found the strongest hold in Antwerp. So much so, that the townspeople erected a statue to the infamous trickster that now stands in front of the former fortress Het Steen. Another notable Antwerp statue is dedicated to Silvius Brabo, a roman soldier who purportedly killed a giant with troll-like toll bridge tendencies. One of the most memorable and variable legends relates to Manneken Pis, a bronze statue now hundreds of years old that resides in Brussels. It was created to look like a small boy relieving himself in a fountain’s basin and is the recipient of a mass amount of tourist traffic and Kodak moments all year long. This humorous statue has a series of costume changes to reflect a panoply of themes on a weekly basis.

The creation of myths and legends live on through the oral and written traditions of each subsequent generation. While some eventually fade into the annals of history, others only grow with time, ranging from light-hearted and amusing stories to spine-tingling legends and tales of admonition. How many more of these eclectic bits of folklore and fiction could you investigate on a long, leisurely vacation in Belgium?

Belgium, travel blog, Antwerp, Lange Wapper statue,

Ever heard the legend of Antwerp’s Lange Wapper?

Satisfying Your Sweet Tooth

Cuberdon , also called Gentse neus (Ghent noses), are a raspberry flavored, sugary confection made from gum arabic that’s formed into a small, conical shapes that somewhat resemble a human schnoz. While its outside is hardened, the interior retains a gelatinous consistency, which is the optimal time to sample it. If left too long the gel crystalizes. Due to their short shelf life, Ghent noses are not an exported item, but they’re available throughout Belgium!

If your dessert preferences align with Belgium’s more internationally celebrated sweet, chocolate, take a drive to northwesterly Brugge Don’t just dash into the first shop with an intricately designed chocolate window display you find, though! There are a mix of Belgian and imported chocolate shops in Brugge so not to knock the other options, but when in Belgium, eat Belgian chocolate!

Belgium, travel blog, Ghent, Ghent noses,

Cuberdon are a specialty candy colloquially known as Ghent noses due to their shnoz-like shape.

Beer Me! No, Really

Whether you are a burgeoning home brewer, consider yourself a beer aficionado or merely an appreciative imbiber, I am begging you to track down one of the many magnificent beer festivals that feature Belgium’s nationally crafted brews. While the highly popularized Munich’s Oktoberfest reigns supreme as the beer festival of all beer festivals, Belgian brewing is a culture, and their beer events are nothing to scoff at.

Attending Antwerp ’s annual Beer Passion Weekend in June is one example of a great way to beat the summer heat and treat your palate to a thirst-quenching beverage or two. More than thirty participating breweries are serving up over two hundred of their own Belgian style bevvy’s. Fill your tankard and get acquainted with some of Belgium’s lesser-known and limited edition brews at Arch’en Biers in Grez-Doiceau, which itself is a lesser-known town, approximately a 40-minute drive southeast of Brussels. The Hops Festival in Val de Sambre in the town of Erquelinnes offers a weekend with a fair-like quality incorporating hot air balloon rides, hop harvesting and of course, barrels of Belgian beer.

Sample some premium beers, schmooze with fellow beer-lovers and the beer-crafters while discussing the topic on everyone’s mind and in their stein…beer!

Belgium, beer festivals, travel blog, Brussels,

Brussels Belgian Beer Festival is an excellent event to cap off your summer vacation.

Explore Belgium With Peugeot

Kemwel provides the convenience of a short-term Peugeot car rental to you from the Brussels Airport . Make your way through Belgium behind the steering wheel of a factory-new Peugeot with the expert assistance of Kemwel. Contact a Peugeot reservation specialist today, toll-free at 1-877-820-0668, or request a rate using our online Peugeot reservation form .


The Most Beautiful Places in France for a Holiday Honeymoon

Most Beautiful Places in France

It’s no secret that France is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes, culturally diverse cities, and breathtaking beaches in Europe (or even in the world), but have you considered France as a holiday honeymoon destination?

There are so many great places for a honeymoon in France, from the classical romance of Paris, to the stunning lavender fields and tasty Mediterranean foods of Provence; France has something for all travel tastes and styles. France, the country where romance was born, has all of the ingredients for a perfect honeymoon, whatever you’re looking for!

Here are the top five most beautiful places in France for a honeymoon:

 

5. St. Tropez

Holiday Honeymoon in St. Tropez
If you want out-of-this-world luxury, then St. Tropez is the destination for you. Being a vacation destination for high-flyers and rich celebrities, expect to be well taken care of in any St. Tropez hotel. The region has dozens of secluded beaches, relaxing private spas, and five-star high-class dining. Expect to feel like a modern king and queen in this stunning jet-setting fishing village.

 

4. Provence and the Côte d’Azur

Most Beautiful Places in France Provence
Food is very important in Provence, and after your wedding what better way to celebrate than in the food capital of France? Gorge on healthy, rich Mediterranean fare of fresh olive oil, wine, tomatoes and garlic while overlooking some of the most beautiful landscape in the country. You can have it all in this region with the beautiful white sandy beaches of the Côte d’Azur, the nature and hiking of the Alps (the landscape that inspired artists from Picasso to Matisse), the cliff-top roads and the romantic fields of lavender. Whether you want to explore or relax on your honeymoon, Provence and the Côte d’Azur are truly romantic destinations.

 

3. The Loire Valley

Honeymoon Destination Loire Valley
Rent a car in Tours and book a room at a glorious old French Châteaux in the beautiful Loire Valley. Visit incredible romantic castles and stately homes while spending days sampling local cheeses and wines at some of Europe’s most famous vineyards. Explore breathtaking scenery in the form of local farms and enjoy driving through the green fields of the valley.

 

2. The French Riviera

Romantic Destinations - French Riviera
If you are looking for a relaxing beach holiday and for some glamor to go with it, then the French Riviera is an excellent choice. While it isn’t a typical honeymoon destination, most people that holiday in this region already holiday like movie stars, so expect to receive the same amount of high end treatment. Enjoy fresh fruits and immaculate restaurants, boat rides and spectacular seafood on a daily basis–expect to come back glowing and refreshed!

 

1. Paris

Paris Honeymoon Vacation
The number one spot has to be the most romantic destination in Europe; the timeless and classic capital city of Paris. Splurge on a beautiful luxury hotel in the center of the city, then take a peaceful stroll along the River Seine, before stopping for a romantic French meal in a delightful cafe bistro or restaurant with plenty of red wine and delectable cuisine. Expect high quality  accommodation, as well as the freedom to roam the large city and surrounding area in the comfort and privacy of a Paris rental car.


Planning Your Holiday Honeymoon in France

If you’re still searching for that perfect holiday honeymoon destination, consider some of the most beautiful places in France mentioned above. These spectacular locales will have both you and your partner in awe-stricken glee for the duration of your trip and Kemwel can help you make the dream a reality. Just check out some of our incredible travel deals on everything from cheap France car rentals to great prices on hotels and accommodations and you’ll quickly discover that a romantic getaway can be a lot more affordable than you may have thought!

Holiday Honeymoon in France


Dare to Compare: Venice vs. Amsterdam, Canals and Car Rentals

In our lifetime, we will barely graze the surface of understanding the interwoven layers of Europe’s exciting history and culture which span millenniums, but with a sense of wonder and curiosity, we will continue to try! One thing that is abundantly clear is that travelers looking to unlock the mysteries of these inspiring destinations will find more avenues open before them with a Kemwel car rental!

Why settle for visiting one remarkable European city, when you can visit two? Venice and Amsterdam offer some of the most sought after sights and escapades on the European continent, and the best part is, it’s cheap and easy to get a one way car rental in Europe. The cities are often compared for their most prominent feature, their extensive canal systems, offering travelers romance and entertainment at turns. If you have yet to explore these exceptional cities, consider exploring one or both for your next trip to Europe. Learn many further interesting factoids and potential parallels of culture on a two-city tour.

A Brief Introduction

Venice canals, Amsterdam canals, The “City of Canals,” “Serenissima,” and “City of Masks,” these are just a few of the sobriquets associated with Venice, Italy. For all its vivacious personality, Venice is in fact quite a compact city that allows sightseeing even if your time is short – for instance, you can take in three major sites at one location with a visit to the Piazza San Marcos, also called “Europe’s Living Room.” From this location, you’ll be able to take in St. Mark’s Basilica, the former legal center of the city in the Doge’s Palace, and the Torre del Orologio, a magnificent clock tower built in the late 1400s. Including the renowned Bridge of Sighs, there are hundreds of bridges and a vast canal network offering many scenic viewpoints in Venice.

More than one hundred kilometers in length with about ninety islands and over 1500 bridges, far eclipsing those of Venice, the canals of Amsterdam are truly a magnificent attraction and engineering marvel to take in. Amsterdam is often referred to as “The Venice of the North.” Originating in the 17th century, the initial plan by the early settlers of Amsterdam was to have a number of canals forming concentric circles. The purpose of some of the canals was to spur residential development; outer rings were used for commerce and defense.

Notable Cultural Sights
National State Museum, Natural History Museum, cultural sights, Venice, AmsterdamIn addition to the edifices in the piazza you’ll have a whole host of museums and exhibits to visit in Venice, many containing some of the finest art ever created. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, which in direct contrast to the old masters, contains one of the world’s most brilliant collections of modern art, featuring artists like Picasso, Calder, and Pollock. Michelangelo’s “David” and many other masters from the Tuscan region are on view at the Galleria dell’Accademia.

When it’s time to take in area culture, among the great prospective activities in Amsterdam is to stop by the city’s most popular museum, the Rijksmuseum, an unparalleled collection of paintings and cultural objects. Additional attractions worth spending time at are the Van Gogh Museum, with the world’s largest collection of one of history’s most famous and prolific artists. History buffs will want to stop at the Anne Frank House, where two Jewish families hid from Nazi persecution during World War II. Family member Anne Frank, in her young teens at the time, penned her famous diary detailing the family’s experiences during this time. A fun fact about Amsterdam museums, is based on the size of city, Amsterdam has more museums (51!) than any other city in the world.

Local Fare
Italian polenta, Dutch croquettes, local food, authentic cuisineWhen it’s time to eat, and it seems like it’s always time to eat in Italy, the ocean proximity provides residents and visitors to Venice, with the freshest of seafood fare, expertly prepared. A common side dish is often polenta, once known as “food of the poor,” today it sits in an elevated place with Venice cuisine. The Italian version of happy hour is called “apertivo time,” where locals gather for drinks and snacks at canal side bistros and taverns. Venice is situated in one of Italy’s finest vineyard regions, regarded on the same level as Tuscany and Piedmont. Your dining experience wouldn’t be complete without a delicious and refreshing gelato, made only as the merchants of Venice know how.

While in Amsterdam, you’ll want to try some of the local foods the area is known for. “Bitterballen” are savory, breaded fried ball-shaped pastries, surrounding bits of chopped beef, broth, herbs and spices. Another similar snack is the “croquette” or “kroket”, generally stuffed with cheese. You can satisfy your sweet tooth with “Stroopwafel,” which is two thin cookies bound together with a sugary syrup, best served hot and fresh from roadside shops. Another very traditional food is “Hollandse Nieuwe Haring” or raw herring with chopped onions, eaten with slices of fresh baked bread.

How to Travel with Kemwel
While I’m offering only the briefest of glimpses into some of the more obvious aesthetics and travel opportunities in Amsterdam and Venice, there is so much more awaiting you! Pack up your car rental and set your GPS coordinates for a one-way adventure between these dynamic destinations. Kemwel can provide you with your appropriate mode of transportation whether it be a Peugeot in Amsterdam, or a cheap car rental in Venice. You can contact a Kemwel reservation specialist at 1-877-820-0668, or reserve your vehicle of choice using our online booking engine, today!


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