Mmm Chocolate. Mmm Beer
Trip Start Aug 01, 2005
110Trip End Nov 22, 2005
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Mmm beer. Mmm chocolate
Up early for our journey from Trier, Germany to Bruges, Belgium. It involved a few trains first Trier to Luxembourg, then Luxembourg to Brussels and finally Brussels to Bruges. A bit of an effort at five hours, but for me far more relaxing than driving as I could catch up on my typing. What made getting on an off the trains ever harder was the fact that we were now carrying more luggage than a cargo plane. At least our arms and chest were getting a solid workout.
Bruges is a charming little city. Often termed "Venice of the North" (at least in tourist pamphlets) it has a small city centre interspersed with canals. To me it looked like a mini Amsterdam sans the prostitutes and drugs
Free of our cumbersome bags we set straight out to see the city. It was a nice sunny day, which a local informed us, was not usual for October when the temperature is usually in single digits and it is raining. There are many museums and monuments to look at but we were happy just to have a look around. One reason for this is that we were staying on Chocolate Street. When Fee found this out I thought she would buckle over in excitement. Within a few hundred metres there are sixteen different chocolate stores all specialising in hand made Belgian chocolate
To keep me happy, every other store was a Belgian Beer store. There are over 350 different types of Belgian beers, enough for a different one each day. In Australia Belgian beer cafes are becoming very popular and there are several opening up, just as Irish bars seemed to be opening up everywhere a decade ago. The most popular beers are those made by the Trappish Monks. They have their breweries in remote abbeys make the better ones. I guess if they are silent and chaste they have to do something with their time. Just as Fee was determined to have a lot of chocolate I was determined to try as many beers as possible. The cool thing about all the beers is that they all come with special glasses. It is very important that each beer is poured into their own glass for reasons, which I found out the next day, unfortunately twenty four hours too late.
Drawing ourselves away from beer and chocolate we decided to take a boat tour along the canal
Once off the boat we headed into the town square. It was quite large and there were plenty of cafes lining its edges. Due to the rare warm weather they were all filled with people creating a good ambience. Wanting to join in the fun we sat down in one to have a beer. Our first beer was a Hoegarden (a wheat beer) and when the waiter brought our beers out in massive steins I thought to myself this could get messy. We had a couple of other different beers and before you could say, "we really should eat dinner" we were both on our way. As we were drinking in a café overlooking the central square the beer price was very high. So we decided to go to the bottle shop and buy some beers there to take back to our room. We chose a wide selection and went to our room.
There were two problems with our plan. One - Belgian beer is stronger than normal beer (in fact some of the beers I had chosen were 9.5%). Two- we had no food in our room so were drinking on an empty stomach. It wasn't too long before I was singing (quite loudly) the praises of Bruges and Belgium. Apparently by eight thirty I was passed out on the couch snoring and Fee put me to bed a couple of hours later.
I do like Bruges.