November 16, 2010

In the Good Old Days

Sometimes I like to use the word "Flemish."  I like how it sounds.  "Walloon" is also a good word.  Apparently, Brussels is officially in Flanders (or the Flemish region), but there are a lot of Walloons living there, from Walloonia (which is also pleasing to say).  I was there as well. 

I have no idea what this thing is...

I had about 4 hours to kill in Brussels, so I set out to explore the city on a--you guessed it--cold, gray, and rainy afternoon.  Belgium is known for a few things that I like, most notably: beer, chocolate, waffles, mussles, and cartoons.  The Smurfs (Les Schtroumpfs) were Belgian before they were dubbed.  So is Tintin.  I also learned that they have FNAC there, as well as a lot of people with "van der" names.  I heart Belgium. 

On the same wall as this politically-charged graffiti...

My walking tour took me down cobblestone streets, through quant little parks, and past intriguing statues.  I bought chocolates and French music CDs for LSB, and then made my way toward the Grand Place in the center of town, where Grand Places tend to be located.   

...was this. 

I was looking for a specific place (near the Grand one) that a friend recommended, just as the sky opened up.  I ducked into an long, covered alley--a passageway from a former convent, now full of shops--and waited out the downpour.

LSB would absolutely love Le Champagnotheque

The rain let up a bit and I resumed my search for Au Bon Vieux Temps, a old, dark, and smokey little bar hidden down an alley off one of the main streets.  I needed a beer.  I needed the Best Beer in The World

The entrance to Au Bon Vieux Temps

The bar was something special, like stepping back in time: old wood, brick, and stained glass.  They served a variety of Belgian beer, but were known for selling a hard-to-find, and expensive beer called Westvleteren.  According to the bar's proprietor, Westvletern used to be cheaper and easier to get ahold of, until "some Americans" named it The Best Beer in the World, causing both price and demand to increase.  Damn Americans.  Damn capitalistic monks.   

Brussels by twilight

The beer was very good--a perfectly balanced dark beer with just the right amount of sweetness, hops, and malts.  Perhaps it was even the best in the world, though I think I need to drink more beer before I can make that claim.  I learned later, that the beer is supposedly only sold at the monastery (and the bar across from the monastery), so the beer I drank was probably sold to me illegally (or it was The Best Fake Beer in the World). 

Het Spook Whisperer

Later on in the evening, after enjoying the TBBITW, I went in search of moules frites and then returned to my hotel.  Ghost Whisperer was on, but I had already seen the episode, so I turned off the television and  went to sleep.  Sweet dreams of delicious chocolate Schtroumpfs.   


JMP said...

Oh my. Sign me up for a trip to Le Champagnotheque.

L said...

New Post. Now.

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