Friday, August 20, 2010

June 5 2007 Amsterdam to Home

Nice train ride to Sch... Airport for our flight home.  Loved the people in Amsterdam, so friendly.  We will be back.

Amsterdam June 4 2007

More exploring and some geocaching.  Nice day.  Visited the Rykes museum, saw fabulous old paintings by the Dutch masters.  Went on a canal trip of the city, and we really enjoyed ourselves.  Nice wind down from our vacation.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Brussels to Amsterdam June 3 2007

We caught the train after checking out of our Brussels hotel.  It was an easy walk to the station from the hotel and we had purchased tickets the day before.

The train station in Amsterdam is downtown, and we found the correct commuter train (more of a light rail with overhead power lines) fairly easily and in about 10 minutes were at the hotel.

We found the door under our  hotel name sign, got buzzed in and climbed two flights of stairs to check in.

So many European hotels are actually in the upper floors of unsuspecting buildings containing restaurants, shops and bars, etc. on the ground floors. 

We went for a walk to explore the area and do some geocaching along the way.  

This one was at the official datum point for Amsterdam.

Saw the Anne Frank House Museum, which was very moving.

Had a great tasting beer at the windmill brewery, Brouwerij 'tIj.

Lots of canals, as expected.

Ate dinner close by the hotel and had an early evening. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

June 2 2007 Belgian Farmhouse Ales Beer Tour - Bouillon to Brussels

After a very pleasant and relaxing walk around Bouillon and seeing fisherman in the Semois River it was time to board the bus for the final journey back to Brussels.

We stopped at the Beer Museum in Lustin with an amazing tasting room and glassware collection - and did the friendly (in French) owner ever bring out the rare stuff for our group to try.  And we bought some special ones to take back home, such as a Millenium Gauze.


 The Proprietor - what a character he was!

Late afternoon some of us went to visit the Brasserie Cantillion Brewery for a quick tour and samples before it closed for the day.

We stayed at the same hotel as the start of the trip - Carrefour de l’Europe in Brussels.

Our group Farewell Dinner was at the Restaurant Restobieres in Brussels, which is a specialty (aren't they all) beer themed restaurant - not to be missed!

June 1 2007 Belgian Farmhouse Ales Beer Tour - at Bouillon

Today was explore Bouillon day. Bouillon lies close to the French border, deep in the south of the Belgian province of Luxembourg. The fortified castle was once owned by Godfry of Bouillon, leader of the first crusade to Jerusalem in the year 1096.  We "opened up" the castle at 10AM as several of us were first in line.  The only other visitors on this rainy day were a group of school children.

Godfry's Castle

Local Supermarket

After lunch in town, and shopping at the beer store (all Belgian beers) we went on a kayak trip about 20km down the Semois River.  What a blast, it rained the entire time, we were soaked and fought each others paddle strokes almost the whole way.  With all the zig-zagging we probably went 30km!  At the end not only was our ride back there (the owner of the kayak rental company), but a superb Belgian barbeque (cooked by the owners wife) complete with many many assorted Belgian brews!  Yummy!

Night was dinner in town with what else but local beer.
The Hotel Cosy was up on a hill and it was quite a climb to go home after being on the town.

May 31 2007 Belgian Farmhouse Ales Beer Tour - at Bouillon

This morning we left Tournai and visited the Brasserie Dupont - famous for it's Saison style beers which can be found at specialty beer stores in the US.  Moinette is one of their famous ones.


Lunch and beer in Dupont's eating place on the brewery grounds, called Les Caves DuPont

 One local wanted to trade t-shirts with one of our tour members - and did, all in French.

They are so busy that tours are scarce - we were lucky to get the head guy!

Saving the Yeast for the next batch.

View out back of the brewery. Truly farm country.

This afternoon we went to Orval, home of Orval Trappist Beer, made only here by the Monks.

Old Monastery Ruins

And after visiting parts of the Monastery and grounds


Beer at L'Ange Gardien
It's just down the road as there is no drinking at the Monastery itself

Then to Bouillon, Belgium for the night at the Hotel Cosy.

Views from our hotel room