Friday, May 29, 2015

Can I say "beer heaven" again?

Today was a lazy day. We had originally thought to go for a ride in the morning and then spend the afternoon walking around Bruges, but cold, cloudy weather and accumulated fatigue made us decide to take it easy. In any case, we had laundry to do, which took up a good part of the morning. But let's face it, it was well after lunch before we got any real touristy things done. 

Luckily, the one main thing we wanted to see, the lace museum, was only a 10-minute walk from the B&B. Bruges is one of the world's most important centres for bobbin lace, a craft that I hold dear since my grandmother did it. The museum is modest but interesting, but the most interesting part is watching the people in the demonstration room. It was a strangely emotional experience watching these women working on their lace. One older woman, was mind-bogglingly fast. 

Then we looked into a few of Bruges' old churches, most of which seemed to be being renovated. Since it was a bit of a cold and blustery day, it soon became clear that we should retire to a pub in short order. Luckily, I had done some research and knew that a well known place was just around the corner: 't Brugs Beertje. We arrived early enough to get a table, but since Sonia wanted to shop, I just sat down at the bar and tried not to be overwhelmed by it all. 

To cut a long story short, my three beers there (all outstanding) ended with something that will be pretty hard to beat. Coincidentally, it's from a brewery in a town where we stopped early on on this trip, Esen, called De Dolle Brouwerij. The beer is called Oerbier Special Reserva (2013). At 13% alcohol and aged in oak barrels, it's pretty much a barley wine. But rarely have I experienced such complexity in a beer. Luckily, the bar was willing to sell me another one, so I'm bringing back yet another souvenir. 

Tomorrow, we say farewell to Bruges and start our journey back east. Our first stop is Ghent. 

No comments: