Session No. 91 is hostet by Belgian Smaaak. Hence the topic. Because of a delayed train to Paris we got free Thalys train vouchers from the Sncf. Booking those tickets from the one and only Sncf office in Cologne isn't that easy. You have to ring them, send in the vouchers, talk to them again, reconfirm the booking. Basically you have to jump some pretty big loops to get on the train. Three long phone call later we finally had the tickets and some weeks later we were ready to start our trip to Brussels.
Riding the Thalys is really cool. I prefer them to the German ICE train as they are more comportable in terms of space. They are really spacious and they serve food in the first class. And what is tempting: they are fast. It's a little bit like flying on the ground. You don't need to worriy about traffic and you have time for good conversations.
We stayed in a little hostel in the near of the Grote Markt van Brussel. If you haven't been there then imagine a square place within the city, surronded by old, beautiful buildings. It is one of the places you want to stay a while and watch the people strolling by, taking photos and eating Belgian french fries.
Brussels has a lot of bars. Some of them are more special than other, but thats what Brussel has in common with other capitals. What is really special about Brussels are their two beer stores. I have seen the selection of „craft“ beers in Finnish supermarkets, which is huge – and in Alko there is even more. But standing in the middle of an entire store full of beer bottles you know that you have reached the holy land of beer. The only thing that now limits the amount of beer you purchase is how much you are able to carry and probably the best before date, which in my case, is a simple mathematical equotion on how many beers I'm able to trink in a given time.
Seeing all these bottles and searching for the most unknown brewery and beer type made us pretty thirsty. But what would a trip to Brussels be without a trip to some bars. From one beer store to the next we found a small passage between to houses which lead to a back alley beer garden.
The beer card was clearly arranged. Most of the beers I knew theroetically. A friend of mine held a lecture about spontanous fermentation at the VLB, Berlin. So there wasn't anything new, expect the Kwak – which I had never heared of. So I ordered it.