Sunday, June 15, 2014

Belgium: So Much Good Beer, So Little Time

After spending three lovely nights in Paris, we made our way via train to Belgium!

We did have a slight hiccup with the Paris Metro police prior to getting to Gare du Nord. They thought we were trying to scam the system -- which we weren't -- but they weren't hearing our side of the story, so in order to get to our high-speed train on time, we shelled out 30€ to make it all go away. Paris metro tickets are the worse! [end rant]

{Bruges - 2009 trip with Micah's parents. Look at Micah's babyface! Barely any hair on that face!}

In 2009, Micah and I, along with his parents, visited Bruges and Brussels. This time, since we've been to Bruges, I decided we'd stay in Gent.

Gent is a college town that is very similar to Bruges. It's inbetween Brussels and Bruges so it's easy to get around via train to nearby cities.

It's interesting see tram lines right in front of old buildings, such as this St. Nicholas Church.

Great views of the waterway can be seen from restaurants and bars along the old center.

In Gent, we stayed at the amazing B&B King.

The rooms, host and breakfast were the highlight of my whole trip. They only have two rooms, so we booked both rooms for two nights. Everything was beautifully furnished! If you go, stay here and you won't be disappointed.

Gent has a castle in the middle of the old city! Gravensteen castle was originally built in 1180.

If you're able to, walk the canals of Gent in the evening. So magical and pretty!

While we didn't visit that many bars in Gent, we did like Herberg de Dulle Griet. They have an extensive beer list and the yard beers! If you order the yard glass, you have to give them one of your shoes as a deposit.

We also had a great meal at T'Oud Clooster.

While we were staying in Gent, on our first night, we decided to revisit Bruges. My sister hadn't been before so it was a perfect change to visit one of the coolest cities I've ever visited. I know people say it's touristy (which it is), but there is something about this town. I love it.

We walked from the train station into town, while meandering through Minnewaterpark.

Once we got into town, we stopped off at 't Brugs Beertje. They have a REALLY extensive beer selection and it's always busy.

Here we got some amazing pate and a plethora of beers. I love being able to drink a fresh Brugse zot from De Halve Maan brewery (it was closed by the time we got into Bruges that day).

This kriek is from a guy/brewery that only blends sours. Really nice kriek recommendation from the server.

The second bar we visited is probably our favorite bar in Bruges: 't Poatersgat. If you're not paying attention, you'll miss it entirely -- maybe that explains why I'm going in backwards? It's an underground bar that is dark, a little dank, but it's all sorts of awesome. The selection here is also fabulous and cheaper than Brugs Beertje.

While we were there, we came across a man from Portland who we also saw at Brugs Beertje. He was obviously a little (a lot) tipsy from all the Belgian beers. He said his wife went to bed after the first bar so he was out "getting water." Ha! Apparently he really likes to share good beers, because he ended up buying a couple of bottles of really good Belgian beers to share with us -- we weren't going to say "no!" One was this tripel black and another was the Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux. Micah really liked the Dupont beer.

On our second day in Belgium, we rented a car for the day and went to Westvleteren. If you know beer, you know that most people think the monks at this monastery brew some of the best beers in the world. People pay top dollar for the beer on the beer trade market. It's crazy.

At their cafe (you can't go inside the monastery), you can order all the beers they brew. You can also pick up 6-packs of their beers to bring home. Micah ended up leaving with a pack of the #12. Once again, my sister and I couldn't resist and we ordered another delicious plate of pate at their cafe.


After two nights in Gent, we spent one night in Brussels. I ended up booking us at the same place we stayed at in 2009. 

Our first stop after dropping off our luggage at the B&B? Cantillon, of course. I actually thought the beers we had on this trip were not as good as the ones we had in 2009. I know it's always changing, but these were a bit lackluster.

Other highlights in Brussels:

Fabulous seafood meal at Noordzee Mer du Nord. It's not a real restaurant. You order at the counter, they cook it and you find a place nearby to eat. They have a couple of tables but that's about it. Those razor clams!


Moeder Lambic -- the guy from Portland kept telling us to go here and ironically, they opened a bar right next to our B&B a few years ago.

Flea Market -- found an awesome snake necklace in the area.

Grand Place at night! It's striking.

But it's also really nice during the day!

To me, Belgium is like France but cheaper and with MUCH better beer. Every time I go to this country, I have a great time!

You might be wondering why there is a lack of moules frites in my post -- they were out of season. Sad face.


  1. Replies
    1. Always a grand ol' time in Europe! Still got Germany leg to write up. lol.