There were three of us on the flight from the states and another (Tom) was on a flight that landed 30 minutes after us. We hoped to meet at the airport and catch a train (ro bus) to Antwerp. His flight landed but no Tom. Hmmm.
Up until last year, the only trains from the Brussels Airport went to Brussels North station, which is the opposite direction from Antwerp. So most people took an airport bus (originally the SEBENA bus and still called that by many even though that airline is long gone). But last year they put an express rail line in to Mechelen so now there is a direct train to Antwerp that takes about 35 minutes. The price is about the same as the bus and it is a bit quicker but you don't have to worry about getting stuck in traffic. Though the trains can (and do) run late as well.
On the train I got my internet connection working on my smart phone and found out Tom's flight out of LA had be diverted back to LAX. So if we (and he) were lucky we might see him in the afternoon but most likely it would be tomorrow. Bummer.
Of course we were too early to check in so we dropped our backs and walked towards the old town. I wanted to check out a new place and thought they opened at 11:00am but when we got there it turns out they open at noon. Oh well.
Luckily, being the experienced beer traveler I am, I had a backup plan. On the Grote Markt there are a couple of cafes that open at 9:00am They don't have an outstanding beer list but they do serve fresh DeKoninck - the local beer. Nuf said.
|Den Bengel on the Grote Markt|
|A "bolleke" of De Koninck|
|Draft List at Gollum|
I notice on the menu a beer I hadn't seen, Waterloo Triple (brewed by DuBocq). I attended the University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ontario -- long story) and so to honor by Alta Mater I ordered one.
We needed some fresh air to counteract the jet lag, so we wandered around the Cathedral and ended up in front of Antwaearps Bierhuiske a fairly new (2010) addition to the Antwerp beer scene.
|Inside Antwaerps Bierhuiske|
|Dry Hopped Saison DuPont|
Trying to decide which beer to have can be a difficult process, so I always pick a draft beer and then peruse the extensive beer menu...
|Draft list at the Kulminator|
|Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux|
|Struise St. Amatus|
I had asked if they had anything new and different and Leen came over with a beer called Karikatuur a "Flemish Wild Ale" brewed by Proef in Lochristi. It is supposed to be inspired by Orval and there was a bit of a resemblance and while it was a nice beer on it's own, I'd still take an Orval if I wanted an Orval
Tomorrow, the final two people arrive and we do a day trip to Brussels.