Belgium

Belgium was a pleasant surprise for us. We knew the beer was going to be good, but we did not have any idea how nice the country was. It is a small country with a great deal of interesting places to see. We enjoyed our first trip to Belgium a great deal.

The road system is pretty good, with the freeways being free but not as nice as Germany and France. The secondary roads were similar to France for us. Camp sights are generally easy to find, and there are some Aires available in cities as well as campsites near the tourist areas. So far we have spent all of our time in Belgium in the Flemish part of the country.

FAVORITE

Ron-Bruges. Some places are tourist hot spots for a reason. We had the best desert I have ever had there. The town is crowded with tourists, but once you get away from the center of town, it is still beautiful and the crowds dwindle quickly.

Ton-Bruges. It really is beautiful.

DISAPPOINTMENT

Ron-Antwerp. Antwerp is an industrial city and the second largest port in Europe. Our introduction was a 25 mile traffic jam to enter the city. The campground was closed so we ended up hanging around on the street in the rain waiting for it to open. The highlight of the day was a beer place that Ton had researched and while interesting, the owner was kind of cold and not very helpful. Having said all of that if the arrival and weather were better I might have enjoyed it more.

Ton-The Pee Boy Statue in Brussels. Small and not all that charming, really over hyped.

FOOD OR DRINK

Ron-Westvlerteren Brewery. We had never heard of this place before we arrived in Belgium. Than we began to hear about this highly sought after (people were paying €25 for 12 oz bottles) and hard to find beer every where we went. Than by happenstance we ended up parking in an aire next to the Abby that brews it, and discovered we could get a draft Westvlerteren in the pub in the town. It was as good as advertised and on the way out we discovered we could buy a 4 pack for €20!

Honorable mention, The Old Chocolate House in Bruges. Absolutely the best hot chocolate I have ever had.

Ton-Verhaeghe Brewery. My favorite beer in the world is Duchesse de Bourgogne from Verhaeghe. It took some doing to get in as we had to book a private tour and it was expensive! But in the end it was worth it as we had a great time, our guide was really nice, and we got to sample some good beer. In the end we left with a large bottle of my favorite beer.

Honorable mention. Westvlerteren Brewery. I really like good beer that is crafted with love.

SURPRISE

Ron-Belgium. I knew the beer would be good, but I was surprised how much I enjoyed Belgium. It is not as convenient as Germany, not as picturesque as France, but it is charming. The people are nice, and of course the beer is outstanding and in my opinion superior to Germany.

Ton-Kulminator Pub in Amsterdam. I liked the passion of the owner and unlike Ron did not find him cold but quirky. The beer menu was really incredible and we got some good ideas about other beers to try.

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RETURN TO EUROPE

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