Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bruges/Brussels

We went on a tour of the local brewery in Bruges, De Halve Maan Brewery (The Half Moon Brewery). These tools were once used in the beer brewing process.



De Halve Maan Brewery make Bruges Zot (Bruges Fool); nowadays they use modern equipment, but on the tour, we saw a lot of old equipment that was used in the past. One floor had large bath-like containers for fermenting the beer.



Another floor had these white cylinders with round holes just big enough for a person to get through.



Apparently, these white containers had to be cleaned very well and the task had to be done by at least two men. The person who climbed inside the cylinder would hum or whistle a tune while the other waited outside. If the singing started to go out of tune, the person outside would know that the cleaner inside was beginning to get affected by fumes, and would help get him out.

At the top of the brewery, we had a view far better than the one at the Bell Tower. We met Saint Arnold, patron saint of brewing, with his brewing stick.



The tour ended with a glass of Bruges Zot. I am definitely a fan. We decided to get classic Flemish food for lunch, so Fleurise and I dined at Bistro de Bekoring. We got more glasses of Bruges Zot. They had these really cute tiny sausages for us to munch on while we waited for the food.



The shrimp croquettes were crunchy, and even better, had this amazing briny of-the-sea shrimp taste. It was the best shrimp croquette I had ever had. Fleurise got a seafood stew. I got eels.



Both were delicious. We packed up our Miffy toothpaste and headed to the train station. The trip to Brussels was, thankfully, uneventful. But we had decided to be adventuresome and didn't make reservations ahead of time based on advice from Rick Steves' guidebook. Rick Steves' recommendations are generally really good, but this is one suggestion that I wouldn't repeat. The tourist office's internet and phone were down so they couldn't help us. So we wandered around the city dragging our suitcases on the cobblestone to maybe 4-5 hotels before we found one that had space and that we liked.

We walked around the city. We saw the Grand Place. Fleurise wanted to get strawberries on a stick, but turned them down once she found out they were for dipping in chocolate.



We touched a brass statue of Mayor Evrard 't Serclaes for good luck (we felt like we needed all the luck we could get). We saw some lace umbrellas with a creepy mannequin in the display window that moved.





We saw the Manneken-Pis, a fountain of a little boy urinating into a pool. We had moules frite at Restaurant La Maree. We liked the sign for the bakery next door.



The weather was beautiful and it was just warm enough to eat outside. After we finished, we called it a day.

2 comments:

micky said...

Really nice info about local brewery in Bruges. Bruges has a great history of breweries and beers..
-
Cafe Bruges

Kavi said...

i'm super jealous i wasn't on this trip