Monday, February 6, 2012

Belgium Chocolate and Beer is a Recipe for a Fantastic Weekend

This weekend I traveled to Brussels, Belgium with my roommate Mina and flatmate Brittany.  This trip was a bit last minute and spontaneous, but they say those make the best trips and this one was indeed!

We arrived in Brussels late Friday night and Mina did a great job with her "asian version" of speaking french to the cab diver.  Luckily we made it to our hotel Beau-Site.  The entire time we pronounced it exactly how it's written until our cab driver corrected us pronouncing it "Bo Seat."  I'm sure he was thinking "these dumb American girls who can't speak a lick of French!"

Saturday morning we bundled up trying to keep as warm as possible in the 10 degree weather.  At times it was absolutely freezing, but we were able to go through a lot of the shops which were all blasting the heat.

We enjoyed a short tour through the Chocolate Museum where we learned how Belgium Pralines are made and of course, got to taste lots of different kinds! So delicious!

Our chocolate tour guide was amazing, he would go back and forth speaking French and cool!
After lunch we went on a 4 hour long beer tour.  The tour was fantastic!!  Our guide, Caesar was funny and very entertaining.  He cracked lots of jokes about how bad American beer is and claimed by the end of the tour we would never want to drink a Bud Light again.  Well... he was dead right.  The different kinds of Ales we tried were so good!  I never knew beer could actually taste good and refreshing!

An old popular Belgium Pub in Brussels, first stop of the tour
Trappist Blonde Ale
Mina and I enjoying our first Belgium Beer!
Mina and Brittany had Blonde ales and I had an Amber.
Our 2nd stop of the tour was at the Cantillon Brewery.  A family owned brewery where Lambic, Gueze, Faro and Kriek ales are made.  Nothing has changed since 1900 when it was founded.  The Van Roy-Cantillon family has been operating the brewery since the beginning and still does today!  

Our last stop of the beer tour was at the Moeder Lambic, a trendy bar in Brussels with over 24 ales on tap!  Fun atmosphere and great beer! 

Throughout the tour we made friends with a couple from Utah who were vacationing throughout Europe for 2 weeks with their foreign-exchange student Philipp, a German 17 year old who lived with them for a year to attend an American high school.  It was so interesting hearing about how this young couple with no children of their own basically adopted a teenage boy for a year.  We had so much fun with them and after the tour we invited them to join us for dinner.  We went to a great Thai restaurant in Grand-Place and continued getting to know our new friends Keith, Jennifer, and Philipp.  

After dinner we ended our night with the best dessert ever, a Belgium waffle topped with whipped cream, fresh strawberries, and chocolate.  It was most definitely the best dessert I've ever had and would go all the way back to Brussels just to eat it again!

Our weekend ended by stopping at the Leaning Tower of Pisa on our way home from Brussels.  
My awkward attempt to have the tower "leaning" on me

Living in Florence is amazing and getting to travel around Europe just adds to this wonderful experience of studying abroad!  I'm so thankful I have the privilege to be abroad for these next 3 1/2 months and can't wait to travel to our next destination.  

1 comment:

  1. I think I saw our Jenny's face in your belgium waffle dessert! : )