Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Belgian Sex Candy And Other Out-Takes

House with a hat, Ghent

The Lamb of God bistro in Ghent--rack of lamb
...their specialty

Automatic coin-op cafeteria in Veurne...when I 
walked by an hour later it was empty

Vodka automatic and hand grenade...Russian vodka I presume;
in Veurne

Everybody bronzes baby shoes...but pacifiers?!

Shoe line in Ghent; when is this going to become an Olympic

The Birds and the Bees, Volume II: Bees

I love Monkey Puzzle trees; here's a female, bearing fruit, sort
of; Bruges

McDonald's in Bruges; seriously; their gratuite
et illimite wifi in Belgium is known as Wi-Fries

Probably because they can't compete with vlaamse frites
no one can; a Friteur in Bruges

In a window over-looking the Beginhof in Bruges

Vermeer would have been so proud

More than 29 flavors for the hot chocolate machine

In addition to the Bruges Madonna, the St. Mary Church in
Bruges offered the most deeply religious fun I've had since
returning to Europe; above, everybody does a Last Supper...

But Pieter Pourbus shows you the serving staff
as well as the diners

Queen of Heaven "satisfied customer" files


Plus the best Annunciation sculpture yet...

Note this is a cut-away Mary, showing the
Child already rotated, at full-term...wasn't
the Annunciation suppose to occur a little
earlier than this? What was she thinking? "Oh,
well that certainly explains all this weight I've

Starting them off young, at a beer garden in Bruges

You expect this sort of thing in Amsterdam or Florence, where
American college students congregate, but not in stately Bruges,
where their parents are...

Best Belgian Beer Ever, So Far

Which means, simply, best beer ever, so far. Belgium makes and consumes more quality beer than any other nation, and its Trappist beers are said to be the best of the best. Veurne was near the Westvleteren brewery/abbey, St. Sixtus, and so we took a slight detour on our way to Dunkerque to get there. Thanks, Vicki, for spotting this and indulging me.
It's really out there in the boonies, quite a few miles on single
lane roads; this is the visitor center/tasting room/restaurant

In Hoppeland (!); people arrive by car, camper, on foot, on
bicycles, in tour busses; sales of the beer are highly restricted:
one case per license plate, per 60 days, by advanced reservation
only; they don't want to commercialize, you see

Westvleteren...distinctive glasses, bottles

I had the #12--dark, hoppy, a bit sweet,
powerful; unforgettable (I hope); definitely the 
best ever for me; we may stop back by here 
on our rebound to Amsterdam!

Blondes too

A bit of the decor


Wandering around the grounds...#12 is 10.6% alcohol...

And maybe into the brewery itself

I got this far before I was accosted by a guy in a gray robe; I
thought he was going to say "no fotos!" and shoo me away,
but he simply explained the Order was very sensitive about
non-members on the grounds but that yes I could take a picture

A bit of the Abbey

Just add water...countryside just beyond the Abbey near


After two nights at Klein Strand, outside Bruges, we continued our southwesterly course. Vicki had found a free camper-stop at the jachthaven in Veurne, a beautiful little town a few miles down from Niuewpoort and the coast. We spent two more nights there, after a day of exploring the town and an administrative day.
Jachthaven Veurne; the area is covered in old canals, once
commercial, now largely leisure and recreation

Panning around the grote markt: the bell tower and the St.
Walburga church

Panning further

More beautiful old buildings and the tower of St. Nicholas church,
whose carillon provided mood music all Sunday afternoon

A sight not often seen, a horse-drawn tram

St. Walburga's, a 15th century brick Gothic

Interior, facing the altar

Beneath a great 16th century carved pulpit,
St. John gets the Word

Have to pay to get out...of Purgatory; note
cleverly placed fire extinguisher

What's interesting about St. Walburga is that, sometime after the
Reformation, they lopped off the nave of the church to make
this cistern...

Veurne's bell tower, one of several in Flanders
that comprise a World Heritage Site

Aviary behind the stadthuis

Former religious house for sale

Rilke slept here...

Well, in the building on the right, which also housed King
Albert's command staff for a time in WWI

The war did not get to Veurne, although very close; with the
centennial well underway there is a great deal of attention to
that conflict, especially here in Flanders fields

But now, beautiful sounds and sights all around


Beautiful little place we may well visit again