These photos are from Brussels, Bruges, and Amsterdam. From this point, we moved
into the Beer and Biking portion of our tour although there was still some
heavy touring of Bakeries as well.

Brussels


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We arrived rather late into Brussels. After finding our hotel, we checked out a cool little pub
called L'Ultime Atome. This is the Westmalle Triple, one of my top 3 beers of the trip.


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I thought this sign was funny. This is outside the pub.


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Natalia feels the same way about Betty Boop as I do about penguins. Although we both think they're
cool, we don't really want more stuff with either thing on them. Either way, this club is funny.


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We wandered through a flea market in Brussels at le place du jeu de pomme. I found a sweet rooster.


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We stopped and had a pint at a small pub near the flea market and I found a whiskey named
after my friend Jeanna Berg (JB). It's actually Jim Beam, but still funny.


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This was on my top 3 as well. I even brought home one glass, although I bought two. Sigh,
I have poor balance after a few Orvals.


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A view into the flea market via the Orval.


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This is a small square near the Midi train station enroute to finding the Cantillon Brewery.


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This is one of the cooler museums I've been to. The Cantillon Brewery is the last remaining
natural gueuze brewery in Brussels, which does spontaneous fermentation. That's right, they don't
add yeast; they simply expose the wort to the air, which has yeast in it. Wild, I know.


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This is tough to see, but it's a look into the fermentation area or the cooling tun room.


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This is in the barrel store where they keep the grains.


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Believe it or not, the cork at the top of this barrel is called a 'bunghole'. Seriously. Look it up.


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Here is where the barrels sit and ferment.


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Natalia trying the Cantillon Gueuze.


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Me trying the same. It's definitely not my favourite beer, but it has very unique traits, including
an acidic bite, a distinct flavour, and a clean finish. For more on this very interesting brewery
and beer, check out Cantillon's website .


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My all-time favourite belgian dish is frites - served with mayo and in a pouch! It's the bomb!


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I have no idea what business these guys are in, but it's funny.


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This was definitely not my favourite beer, but it was still interesting.


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Natalia liked the place du Grand Sablon. Anywhere that has four chocolate shops on the same
block definitely ranks highly in her books.


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Natalia with a 'praline' or a filled chocolate in the shape of a pharaoh. She tried them from 4
different shops in this square.


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Looking down towards the old part of Brussels.


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Brussels is well known for the comic graffiti on their city buildings.


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Natalia has the same opinion I do of Manneken Pis. See my expression from 2002: HERE .


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Apparently, they make a much bigger version but in chocolate.


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For whatever reason, the Belgians love comic books. Here's Tintin on another building.


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Here is Natalia in the middle of the Grand Place. This square is surrounded by gorgeous 17th
century buildings all built by the respective guilds.


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Hotel de Ville or City Hall.


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All of the guild halls are beautiful, but of course, I'm partial to the brewery guild.


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This building is called "the smallest house in Brussels".


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We did a casual walking tour of some of the Art Nouveau buildings in Brussels. This building
is called les Hiboux due to the owls on the roof.


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I think this was the Musee d'Horta.


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I think this is the maison Camberlaini.


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I took this for my cousin Leanne, whose dog is named Teddy. I know, it's shocking with Natalia
looking into a bakery.


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We stopped in here at this ice cream shop called le Framboiserie.


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Since the Belgian food wasn't a big hit with Natalia, we finished our tour of Brussels by going
to a pretty nice Thai place. Here I tried the local favourite brew - Jupiler.


Bruges


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Bruges is one of my favourite cities in Europe and I was really excited to go back with my beautiful
wife. The city is full of canals, historic buildings, breweries, beer pubs, chocolate shops,
and places to make me frites. All in all, it's tough to beat. Here is Natalia sitting by her first
canal after we checked in to our super hotel - Hotel Ter Duinen


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This is the main market square - the Markt.


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Here's a photo I took for Natalia's sister Maria since she likes mermaids.


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This might be the coolest beer glass I saw while in Europe. This is for a beer called
Kwak. They serve it in something that would fit better into one of Jason Stowers' chemistry
labs, and it's a bit of a challenge to drink, but it's definitely different.


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Me trying to drink the Kwak.


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Belgian food in general consists of frites, moules (mussels), moules et frites, and a number of
other relatively tasteless dishes. Natalia is trying her first mussels here. In the end, she didn't
really love them at all.


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Me trying the Brugges Tripel. The thing to watch for is a lot of beers in Belgium have wide
disparities in alcohol content ranging from 3% to some as high as 13%!


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While Natalia chose to have waffles for dessert, I elected for another beer - this time the Karmeliet.


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Natalia LOVES Belgian waffles in Belgium!


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Natalia pointing out one of the many historic buildings in Bruges. For the history on the town,
check it out HERE .


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Natalia and I hanging out on a canal in Bruges.


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Natalia looking down a canal.


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It turns out that the Belgians like to make chocolate in more than just rectangular shapes.


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Me eating chocolate boobs.


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Any beer connaisseur recognizes the Westvletereen 12. It was strong, brown, and not my favourite
although still quite tasty.


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Natalia with a bunch of named roosters in the window of a ceramics store. I didn't see either
a Paul or an Allison though.


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Here is Natalia wondering around a flower market in the Markt square in Bruges. We found some
nice bread, some Bruges cheese, some grapes, and some coconut macaroons for our bike trip to Holland.


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Walking to pick up our tandem bike, I saw this sign in a clothing store and laughed myself silly.
It turns out though that the end of July is sale season all over Europe as the bulk of it goes on
holiday in August.


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Natalia with our tandem bike.


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On the way out from the city, we got stopped by the locks on the canal as one of the large boats
was making his way downstream.


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Me on the tandem bike. Yeah, I know the rolled up pants is cool.


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The boat going through the canal.

The biking portion of our trip starts here


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I gave Natalia my camera as she sat behind me on the tandem bike. You can see the canals in front of
us as we pedal our way to Holland.


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Natalia taking a portrait as she's biking.


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We stopped to eat our picnic at Damme, a little town with a cute windmill.


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Natalia enjoying her coconut macaroons.


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How nice is this bike path? It seems like it goes on forever, and it does, or at least into the
next country.


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One of the things that makes biking in Belgium so wonderful is the little brasseries and hotels
pretty much every 5 km. This is the Chimay Rood I'm trying here.


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Yes, this is an actual dog in this lady's pannier.


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Natalia in Sluis, Holland after a fun bike ride along the canals from Bruges.


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Natalia enjoying some Dutch frites from a fry shop.


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Natalia and I in Sluis, the Netherlands.


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Natalia wanted a photo of the sheep grazing along the canals.


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Not a bad lifestyle really.


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Natalia and our tandem bike coming back to Damme.


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I girth-hitched my camera wrist strap to the bridge and set the timer. Not too bad a result.


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This is the last of my top 3 beers from the trip. Rodenbach is considered a Vlaams Rood or
Flemish Red beer. It has one of the finest finishes I've ever tasted in a beer.


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We believe this chocolate that was in the front store window deserves a greater than PG rating.


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Like seriously, who buys this stuff? I didn't think Carl Piro made the trip too often to Belgium.


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Trying the Brugse Babbelaar at a little Italian place in Bruges.


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Natalia trying the Brugse Trippel and the Brugse Zot or Fool.


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Natalia in front of another beautiful canal scene in Bruges.

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