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Belgium trip

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jas0420

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Hi all,

It looks like SWMBO is going to get to do a 6-week teaching gig at a university in Belgium this summer. :rockin: She didn't want to take the job unless I would come visit. I thought long and hard about it for about a milisecond, and agreed to her demands (wouldn't want to stand in the way of education!). It'll be my first trip to Europe!

I'm going to try to spend two full weeks there (late July probably). She'll be teaching in Leuven 4 days a week, and free to roam the other 3 days. I'm fishing for "must see" ideas from anyone who's been there. I found olllllo's thread and it looked like he managed to a few things to pass the time. (From his pic's, I think I could spend the whole two weeks in the Delirium Cafe.... May have to buy a Coors Light there for the sake of irony).

Anyway, just starting to explore the opportunities there (beer related and otherwise) and wanted to see what others enjoyed/didn't enjoy on their adventures there. Was also wondering about language. It looks like English is accepted in the more touristy-type places? I'm going to try my best to learn at least a few basics of Flemish beforehand, but I think most of my foreign language brain cells either didn't get installed or were on the front line of the Great Beer War.

Thanks!
-jason
 

Brewtopia

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Language is really not that big of deal, most people speak English. I will say this however, if you make it to Brugge, make sure you pronounce it Brooga not Brooj. The locals will love you.
 

freyguy

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Yeah, English was pretty common over there, and everybody was super friendly. The University at Leuven is a beautiful place!! Your wife is very lucky. Just a couple of highlights from our trip.

Cantillon is a great brewery to visit. John-Pierre is a very cool guy. Bug them for a bottle of an experimental Gueuze that they brewed up with the DFH guys with amarillo hops they brought over. I tried, but they wanted to give it more time when we were there.

You must take a trip to the Abbay of Saint Sixtus, and at least have a Westy12 (or all of them) at the Cafe, Verde. I kick myself all the time for not lining up a purchase of some Westy12. Try to get that set up and travel up there to pick it up. You can even have it shipped back if you can't find room in the luggage.

Delirium cafe is great, although tricky to find. But you can waste some major time there. I also heard Bier-Circus had an amazing selection, but was closed when we went.

A car with navigation was a must have for us since we traveled around alot, but somebody wanted our TomTom more than us. So we had to pay for the replacemnt of it. It was even in the glove box, so my suggestion is to leave no valuables at all in the cars. On the upside, the Police were very friendly and we had a blast talking to them. They were all too excited to give us pointers on beer and places to visit.

Ohh, and check out some of the places on maps.live.com. They have good resolution of all the places we went when out there....very cool. :D
 
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jas0420

jas0420

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Thanks guys!

Freyguy, I just looked up the Abbey of Saint Sixtus at your recomendation and was amused by their brewery website (http://www.sintsixtus.be/eng/index2.html). To make a reservation, "you call the beer phone".

We all need a beer phone.

Good stuff though! Bummer about the GPS. I had been quietly wondering to myself about transportation. "Rent a car" is the first (and only) thing that pops into my head when I travel by air somewhere. My wife though says bicycles, cabs, and trains. She lived in Germany for several months and has darted around a few other European locations, so I yielded to her experience. At least verbally. Mentally, I'm still thinking "Bicycle?!? Are you crazy woman?"
 
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Hotels in Brussels are very expensive and difficult to get on the weekdays.
All that EU stuff.
Stay in Leuven and plan on taking the train alot.
 
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