Monday, 22 June 2015

Brussels Day 2 (Sunday)

It was very quiet in the streets when we ventured out in the morning around 10:00 am. I thought we'd be in a bit of trouble and much like Bruges may have decided to stay on the quiet days. We had waffles, juice and coffee for breakfast at a small street side stall, which was OK but nothing to write about... oh well, it was a decent breakfast and unlike Bruges meal times didn't seem to be so specific in Brussels, that's what I was writing about!

We did not stay at Delirium Cafe for 7 hours... surely it is not possible. Brianna's watch was wrong.
I didn't then go back there after dinner for a nightcap, that would be silly!

I started with a nice light Troubador Magma Galaxy (2013) edition. I really love this beer but I was annoyed at myself for drinking something I was pretty familiar with. So then I just chose anything I'd not had before... It was a heavy afternoon, I admit. Here is a small beer journey, in pictures.

Another Triple... Beacuse I can
Then I figured you might as well have a Delirium Tremens, being at the Delirium Cafe and all!

I really don't think I should be drinking anymore, not if I'm trying to get a pink elephant drunk!

It was a bit weird to see a stack of tourists rock up to this statue which looked like a 2 year old girl having a wizz on a street side. It's called Jeaneke Pis and is basically a sister statue to Manneken Pis which seems equally as boring. Certianly, when we walked past the Manneken Pis the amount of tourists taking photos had me wondering if there was possibly a show about to start, or another bike rally. However, sadly, this was the not the case, it was just a 2 1/2 foot high statue of a little boy pissing into a pond. The exciting part was probably that he was dressed in Napolean clothes when we first walked past but we haven't seen that again! I also refused to take a photo...

Outside Delirium Cafe, these tourist are photographing Jeaneke Pis
Inside Delirium Cafe

So that was all the beer I had today, I promise... well except the 1/2 Litre Delirium the American Tourist from Florida bought for me and the beer we had later that night. Lovely bloke,but by the end of it, I'm not sure hoe coherent I was. We went back to the hotel to freshen up and put on a jumper as it was about 14 degrees. Really happy we came this way back as it's getting us a little acclimatised for Meloburne weather!

We had dinner in a street that was very similar to Lygon street. That is a bunch of annoying Maitre D's trying to talk you into eating at their restaurant, which looked exactly the same as the next restaurant, by offering you your beer for free. I felt like something simple so I randomly selected one and took a free glass of wine, seriously - wine!

A seriously had a glass of wine.
After a bucket of mussels and a crap wine, I had to get me some more Lambic to finish off the day!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Brussels Day 1 (Saturday)

We left Amsterdam and took a fairly comfortable and half full train to Brussels. I thought the frequent announcement to be aware of pick pockets was just a usual warning on these trains, but as we made it into Belgium the announcement change to "The police and the train station have been informed there are pick pockets on this train..." which makes you start looking around everywhere for someone hiding, possibly under your chair. About 20 minutes later the police led a handcuffed gentleman, rather politely past us to the front of the train: "Monsieur, you came from France?", "Oui, France". Not sure how that worked as we started in Amsterdam at 11:52 am. Maybe a fairly vigourous morning of train hopping? After a fairly relaxing 3 hour train ride we disembared at Brussels central and walked around the block twice before realising that we had, indeed ended up at the point we started. This was fortunate as the street to the hotel was almost directly opposite us. Seems to be a large hotel chain with beds so soft I was surprised I still had breathing space when I woke up the following morning. 

After checking in, we left the hotel in Brussels and walked south for about 10 minutes towards Moeder Lambic, a beer bar that specialises in... you guessed it Lambic beers! Whilst they specialise with this style, this is not all they had on the menu. We were walking through a square when all of a sudden we heard the ringing of many bike bells. Of course Brussels dished up some raving French speaking locals riding their bikes nude for a cause... a cause we can still only guess at, but we assume was worthwhile and involved squishing genitalia against a bike seat whilst riding through a city.

This bike protest (I assume) was literally around the corner from Moeder Lambic, so after clearing my throat we rounded the corned and sat down for a few quick beers.

Brianna was still somewhat surprised by the bike parade
We really liked these magnetic strips for the beers available - easy to change

Large bar! Very nice indeed.

I'm still coming off a hangover in Amsterdam but pushed through for the kids

A whole keg of Delirium Tremens - With matching Stein
Very grand indeed.
We finished off with a lovely French meal and bottle of wine. We had intended to then pop into Delirium cafe, but unfortunately it was a Saturday and the whole area that has the cafe was awash with drunken revelry. So we decided to call it a night and get an early sleep. I believe this was the very first time this had occurred so far on our holiday!

23 Hours and 56 Minutes in Amsterdam

Good bye Bruges, Hello Antwerp (en-route to Amsterdam)

Stunning interior of Antwerp Central Station

Same photo as above but wider

Outside Amsterdam Central

Crappy day! Wonderful scenes

I can't see anything wrong with this signage

Just drinking a Kwak and Playing Backgammon (Cafe Belgique)

Beer Temple, Amsterdam
Inside Beer Temple Amsterdam

Very nice Brown Ale

Waiting for Argentinian Steaks!

See you later Amsterdam!


Back at the station, ready for Brussels

Bruges - Last Day!

Wow - what a city!!!

Our last day in Bruges saw some very serious research completed. This stated with a look at Brouwerij De Halve Maan who have a pretty nice tour showing the history of how their beer used to be made and also a run through how it is made today.

Fermentation - Lids are for pussies!

Old Conditioning Tanks
We then had lunch and were able to find a really interesting and sought after dish in Bruges. Flemish stew is so rare to find that we were counting our blessings when we saw it was a major feature on the menu at our restaurant for lunch (sarcasm is thicker than melted Belgian chocolate here).

Very fortunately Kareliet wasw providing free beer at this place. It only happens once a year apparently... Not sure about that, buy hey, bottoms up!

Special place, special house beer

Munt this, Munt that

This is Joel - the owner!