Category Archives: Belgium

The pleasant surprise: Ghent

When I was in Belgium 14 years ago, I only spent an afternoon in Ghent. Mistake. This time, our group chose Ghent mainly as a convenient base for excursions to West Flanders, but everyone wound up loving it on its … Continue reading

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Antwerp: old buildings, old beers, and getting old(er)

I’d never been to Antwerp before and all I knew about it was diamonds, Jews, and the renowned beer bar Kulminator. Well, the diamond thing is pretty low key to the casual observer (I saw a few stores by the … Continue reading

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Day trips: Malle (Westmalle) and Mechelen (Het Anker)

The small city of Mechelen is about halfway between Brussels and Antwerp and a relatively easy and quick train ride. Unlike Brussels, Mechelen (population 82,000 or so) actually seems to want you to visit. Signage is good and the city … Continue reading

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Day trips from West Flanders

Safely mixing beer tasting and driving is tricky, but if someone in your group is willing to stick to small portions, it opens up some interesting possibilities in the West Flanders countryside. You might want to base yourself in a … Continue reading

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The big hub: Brussels

Let’s get the negatives out of the way first: It’s the busiest, grittiest city in Belgium. It’s where the airport is and it’s full of foreigners but it seemed like the hardest place to get around. (Maybe that’s just because … Continue reading

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East Bay Beer Goes To Belgium

I went to Belgium in 2001 for a few days, where I discovered this weird sour beer that kinda tasted like wine and had a waiter upsell me some awesome dark beer made by monks. I was living in the … Continue reading

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East Bay Beer Goes To Belgium: Don’t want to be an American idiot

<long boring frequent-flyer-mile-oriented story deleted> so I was the first of our group to arrive in Belgium. I figured I’d walk around, have some beers, enjoy the silence. I’d planned on declaring “vacation” and “birthday week” and whatever other justification … Continue reading

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East Bay Beer goes to Belgium: Day 1, passport control

Passport guy: Vacation? Me: Yes PG: Just you traveling today? Me: Yes PG: Staying with friends? Me: I’m meeting up with the rest of the group tonight and tomorrow PG: How long, I’m guessing two days? Me: Actually we’ll be … Continue reading

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