We returned Monday evening after a grueling drive (by way of France) and I pretty much fell flat on my face as soon as we unloaded the car. I hope I’m not getting too old for this. As for the leg of lamb, it’s for real and works in a pinch if you need to keep something chilled for a few hours. I’m never able to find bagged ice or blue ice at french supermarkets, and our plug-in travel cooler is too small and not cold enough. Nine days went by in a flash, 3 of which were mainly driving through France, and there is so much to do at home. Still, a few words won’t hurt so here’s what I thought of the country that gave us Father Damien (in a nod to Hawaii) and…Jean-Claude Van Damme.
To sum up the road trip to Belgium as “simply great” is an understatement. While the main reason for going was the beer, the trip exceeded all expectations thanks to perfect sunny weather during the whole stay. We were also spoiled for much cheaper LPG fuel (40% less than what it costs in Italy) that the suv drinks, and to top it off, Belgium’s major highways don’t charge toll fees. Hey we saved 20€! Wow, let’s buy some more beer! Touring the country from one end to the other gave us an idea of where we’re going to base ourselves the next time. In a nutshell, for 6 whirlwind days we packed in a lot of stuff but if I were to make a list of bests, these are the 5 things that made our Belgium initiation outstanding.
1. excellent weather during a period that was supposed to be rainy
2. Hallerbos – the bluebell forest in peak bloom
3. chocolate shop nirvana in Brugge – I thought I was gonna faint from too much choice
4. queuing in line to pick up our 2 reserved cases of Westy 12’s at Saint Sixtus abbey
5. and of course beer – buying it, admiring it, toasting it, drinking it, and burping it!