Friday, August 21

Ghent by Train

Technically we didn't see Ghent by train but we did take the train from Ghent to Bruges. It was only a 20 minute train ride. How could we resist a quick stop at the Venice of the north? The problem was it was 4:00 when we decided to go. We were all hot, tired and a bit fussy. So we decided to go there, find a cafe, order a beer, sit, relax and eat dinner. That would be it. That's really all it could be. We arrived in Bruges and then took a bus to the city center. There we sat at one of the many cafes with outdoor seating and ordered some beers. That's when our adventure in Belgium beer began.

I told the waiter I wanted a big beer. He asked if I'd like a local beer, naturally I said yes. Jeff (my BIL) said he'd have the same thing. I was *shocked* when the waiter presented me with this long, test tube-like glass of beer sitting in it's own wooded holder. I felt ridiculous. This was not a fraternity party. I was not at Vegas. Luckily Jeff was sharing the embarrassment with me.

The beer was called Kwak. The story behind this beer is that carriage drivers used to keep their beer in similar glasses attached to their carriages. The glass was constructed like this so it would not "Kwak" out of the glass while they drove. This is the story the waiter told us.

It was sorta on the sweet side and very smooth. I drank it quickly so the glass could be removed.

Then I moved on to a Belgian beer I knew I liked (and was served in a normal glass) - Hoegarrden. It is a white beer that gets it's flavor from orange peel, coriander and wheat. It comes in this 6 sided tumbler. Most Belgium beers are served in a specific glass.

Bryce stuck to Leffe Blonde and Emily tried a very low alcohol Kriek, but only had a few sips. Too rich and warm. It was a fun evening! The girls had their drink of choice as well, jus de pomme and joined in the merriment.

After dinner we took the bus back to the train station and took the train back to Ghent. The next day we drove south to Brussels. I hope we're able to return to Bruges someday and actually see the sights.


Jessica said...

That's a fun evening trip...and that kwak is a hoot!

christie said...

Brussels is very famous for lace...there are novels
about lacemakers from there...I do think old women
still do it by hand. It is expensive.
Also the Kwak was very popular in Seattle at
several fancy pub places in the downtown hotels in the late 1960's...It had another name which I can't recall due to my age. mom

dv.x.3 said...

they say Kriek is for the ladies. I think it's yuk, but some people really like it. You should try Leffe Bruin when the weather cools. We can't get it here in Seattle, and I dream about it when we're home.

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