The Beast Arrives

So far on this trip, it’s been decidedly cold – but also sunny. Bright days usually mean me spending extended hours outdoors, making then most of the sights. But today, it’s turned cloudy, and with it, the weather front known as the “Beast from the East” is pelting its full windchill over this part of…

“Merci”, not “Dank U”

Brussels Midi Station isn’t the nicest place to arrive. For starters, it’s huge – combining training, metro, tram and bus services. That makes finding the exit difficult enough – never mind the correct exit closest to my hotel. “To be honest I wouldn’t have recommended you stay in that neighbourhood,” says Jack, being completely open…

A Tourist Trap(pist)

Having learned about the patron saint of beer earlier in the day, it seemed fitting to find out exactly what all the fuss is about. I have to confess, I’m normally a real ale kind of guy – and I mostly enjoy lighter, weaker beers. So the menu board at Le Trappiste presents something of a challenge….

Frozen canals, some horses and a nunnery.

Bruges looks stunning in the morning sunshine. The TV news is full of how the UK is failing to cope with a dusting of light snow and slightly cold weather. Here, the air temperature is -1c, but the windchill makes it -6c, which means some fairly brisk walking, since the option of a canal trip…

A train, a tower and some beer.

My only previous knowledge of Bruges involved an Irishman falling from a tower, a dwarf high on ketamine and a gangster shooting blindly in the town’s square. It was quite a sight, condensed into 85 minutes of a film which seemed to mainly feature Colin Farrell’s eyebrows. And although I’d already decided this wasn’t going…