French and Dutch

Its been a while since anyone (really just me) has posted something here. That's because its not something I'm terribly good at prioritizing and also it seems like we will be back home in a short bit. One of the main reasons I did this was to keep people apprised of our whereabouts and activities; that way when I returned I wouldn't have to endure the awkward "how was this" or "what did you like most about this place". I can't say I'll avoid that entirely but thanks to a small group of people at least I'll save some effort. The readership has dropped off significantly and I can't blame anyone for that. My writing isn't prize worthy and our activities are somewhere between boring and envy producing - both of which aren't great for reading. That being said I'm back at it for now with an update on where we are, how we have been, and the last two weeks of our trip which have finally been put in place (kind of). It also includes a last minute surprise.

We have now been in Belgium four days and it has been a lot of the same for us. With much of Europe it is a ton of walking, a lot of looking at things from the outside, and occasionally coughing up the entrance fee to see the inside. There have been lots of frites and waffles on this journey, something I think we are bound to get sick of soon. We've also had a lot of beer, but truth be told I don't love many Belgian styles. We have had a good mix of blonde, dubbel, trippel, etc. Staying away from lambic and sour mostly because places aren't amenable to tasting everything on tap.

Today we spent the day in Antwerp which is a short 40 minute train trip north. The city is much more Dutch which I quite enjoyed, reminiscent of Amsterdam but much smaller and without the canals. We visited the Museum aan de Stroom which had a temporary exhibit on the history of food in the region as well as its role in urban societies and the future of food waste. There was even a little mockery at the end with a look at the future in which cannibalism is the best way to solve over population, stem cell research allows for indoor beef farming, and dodo nuggets exist thanks to science reincarnating the extinct (possibly tasty) bird.

It started raining quite hard while there so we didn't get to cover as much ground as intended. We made a visit to De Koninck brewery (Duvel owned) which had a small tasting room. Brewery hours here are quite miserable for visitors, with many being closed Sundays and Mondays and/or only open until 6pm. Nonetheless it was a nice experience to say we have been to a brewery in Belgium. I'll stick to my USA styles.

In a couple days we leave for Switzerland where we plan to hike the alps and find all the scenic mountain vistas a la The Sound of Music. There will be plenty of home cooking to offset the Swiss prices which means picnic lunches and perhaps more time for blog updates. After that we will be taking the Rhaetian Railway through the Bernina Pass into Italy where we will be meeting up with my parents. It only took them until the last possible week to meet us but they couldn't have picked a better destination. We will cover Milan, Venice, and Florence with them over a week. So look forward to those updates and perhaps a few photos of us that aren't taken by my outstretched arm.

Antwerpen Centraal Station

MAS Antwerp

MAS Rooftop


Grand Place at Night
Waffle at Delirium Village


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Tram. Who doesn't love a tram?

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