Category: Belgium

December in Brussels

Posted by December 24, 2014

A look back at ghosts of Christmases past. One of my favorite places to be in December (or any other time of year really) is Brussels. The Grand Place is spectacular at night. The Christmas market sells little bites of heaven—chocolate, beignets, macarons and cuberdons. There’s an ice rink, ferris wheel, luge and two amazing vintage carousels. We were here for Zwanze Day at Moeder…

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Carnaval in Binche, Belgium is a really different experience. I’ve wanted to go since seeing pictures of these guys—the Gilles. Imagine 1000 of them in those creepy masks… The masks are wax and, according to the tourist office web site, worn on Shrove Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. Eight-thirty, a two-hour drive away, after a long weekend in Hamburg wasn’t happening so we went for the…

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Barrels of lambic in the cellar at 3 Fonteinen 3 Fonteinen coolships + the best way to spend a day in Belgium: drinking lambic and gueuze 3 Fonteinen is one of those places. We’ve been a bazillion times, but never bothered to take pictures. Until now…and with good reason—the new brewery. After many years of being a gueuze blender, Armand is brewing again! The equipment…

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Sampler paddle of the 6, 8, 10 and cheese at Maredsous Abbey Maredsous Abbey visitors center Inside the church at Maredsous Abbey Maredsous is an abbey beer brewed by Benedictine monks in the Walloon region of Belgium. The beer is, imo, just okay. Perfectly acceptable, not exceptional. It’s the sort of reasonably priced, solid Belgian I’ll drink when we move back to the states. But…

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Photos from the first-ever open brewery days at Chimay. Brew tanks at the Chimay Brewery Chimay yeast slurry Lines at the Chimay Brewery + View of the Trappist Abbey Last week we toured the Chimay brewery at the Notre-Dame de Scourmont Abbey in southern Belgium. This was the first year the Trappist brewery was open to the public. Honestly, not my favorite of tours, but…

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Meuse River in Profondeville, Belgium Boat on the Meuse + Chasing goose in Profondeville, Belgium As often as we’ve visited Belgium, we’ve rarely ventured below the language border. You hear things about Wallonia—how it’s run down and dirty and no one speaks English, etc. I don’t know about all that. Come to think of it, I’ve heard people speak this way of “Walloon” towns that…

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Snapped this photo of an artist at work on the bank of the Meuse River in Dinant, Belgium on Saturday. I love seeing the scenery and the artist’s perspective. And the curious crowd that gathers behind them. I imagine some day seating myself in front of a piece by one the great masters. A sketch book and an elaborate spread of materials before me. Then…

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I never realized Belgium had a Royal Family. We’re so obsessed with the British and OMG, what did Kate wear? It’s easy to forget we live in the land of kings and queens and dukes and duchesses. Belgium is a constitutional monarchy, as is the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein…and Canada. What? Canada? Sometimes it surprises me how little we know about our neighbors…

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