(L) This map shows rivers in Netherlands. The areas of Netherlands are
above sea level.
(R) German ICE train at the Brussels-North station
The Kingdom of Belgium is a country of northwest Europe. It is a founding
member of European Union
and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international
as NATO. Belgium has a population of about 11 million people. Almost all
the people in Belgium live in
urban. The population density of Belgium is 342 per square kms, one of
the highest in Europe, after
that of Netherlands and some micro-states such as Monaco.
Belgium expands smoking ban to all cafes, casinos.
Belgium's top court decided to widen the country's smoking ban in public
spaces to cover all
cafes and nine casinos from July 2012. Smoking has been banned in work places, restaurants and
pubs that serve food since 2009, while temporary exemptions had been granted
to casinos and
cafes that only serve snacks such as crisps and peanuts. The law had called
for the exemptions
to end sometime between January 2012 and January 2014. However, the Flemish
asked Belgium's constitutional court to strike them down. The court decided
to lift the exemptions,
but gave establishments until June 2012 to adapt to a total smoking prohibition.
The judges ruled
that the government failed to prove that pubs would be harmed by a smoking
ban, saying drawing
distinctions between establishments was actually harmful to competition.
The court also stated
the protection of the health of employees, and non-smokers should apply
to casinos even though
they serve a "specific" clientele. Smokers will still find a
corner to light up: Special smoking rooms
equipped with air vents in restaurants, and in other public buildings are
permitted, since smokers
are not supposed to use them, the judges said.
Source: AFP March 16, 2011
Rail Trip to Brussels in 2011
Paris-Nord, France - Brussels Midi, Belgium
(L) Departure board of the Gare du Nord (R) Thalys train waiting for departure at the Gare du Nord
(L) Departure sign board shows the destination of Brussels Midi (M) Breakfast
served in the first-class passengers
(R) A wide-range Comfort 1 seat in the train of Thalys
Bruxelles-Midi, Brussel-Zuid, Brussels South is the biggest railway station
in Brussels, capital of Belgium.
(L) A Thalys train bound for Paris-Nord shares the platform with a TGV
train bound for Nice
via the CDG Airport and Lyon at Brussels South station.
(R) French sign board of ' Gare du Midi'
Main concourse of Midi Station Brussels
Main concourse of Midi Station Brussels
(L) Toll toilet at the Midi Station Brussels
(R) A half Euro is needed to use the facilities.
(L) Smokers at the entrance of Midi Station Brussels
(R) Cigarette shop at the Midi Station
The price of cigarette is 4.00 Euros to 5.85 Euro for Winston's cigarette,
4.30 Euros to 6.30 Euros for Camel's cigarette.
Automated ticket bending machine for the metro trip
Metro Brussels-South, Midi station and track lines
Metro Midi station and the interior of the subway train
The Brussels Metro has 49.9 km of seven-line network and 68 stations.
(L) Metro Midi station (R) Metro station near Brussels stock exchange
Brussels Historic Center and nonsmoking sign plate in a restaurant
A restaurant and chocolate shop in Brussels
A waffle shop and mini-shops for Christmas
(L) Royal Galeries of Saint-Hubert, Brussels, the famous 19th century shopping
(R) Maneeken Pis is a well-known public sculpture in Brussels $B>.JX>.AN(B
(L) Cathedral of Saints Michael and Guadule (R) Royal Palace Brussels
(L) Rue de la regence (R) Shops near Brussels stock exchange
(L) Christmas street-stalls near Brussels stock exchange (R) A white bear
window display at a chocolate shop, Brussels
(L) A station bulletin board showing the Thalys train to Paris-Nord is
delayed 11 minutes
(R) An evening meal served to the first-class passengers to Paris.
The article was written by Junhaku Miyamoto, M.D., PhD, in December 2011.
The photographs were taken by a staff member of 'SmokefreeTokyo' in November