Tuesday, 1 July 2008

I'm off to Belgium!

I won't be able to post much for the next few days as my parents are over from England and we'll be spending the time in the Ardennes, in Belgium. I've only ever driven through Belgium, so it will be interesting to get to know this odd little country. According to Lonely Planet (guides second only to Footprint, in my experience), "the Ardennes is Belgium at its best. This southeastern corner is home to deep valleys, forested hills, meandering rivers and, in its quieter recesses, tranquil stone villages and ancient castles. For those into nature, this is Belgium at its best."

Nice. I'm a big fan of nature, though I'm not expecting much to compete with the Black Forest, which is about the same distance from Bonn. What I'm really looking forward to is the Trappist beer and Ardenne ham. Belgian beer is exquisite, breaking all the German purity laws. It's also fairly strong, which means I will have to plead with my wife to do most of the driving ...

So, I hope to continue my thread on the incredibly important concept of the regula fidei, or "rule-of-faith," though in the next few days it will be in drips and drabs.

2 comments:

Macrina said...

If you are remotely able to, do try and get hold of some Trappist beer from St Sixte in Westvleteren. (Okay, I know it's on the other side of the country from the Ardennes, but it's a small country!) They're the only monastery where the beer is still brewed by the brothers themselves, and is widely acknowleged to be the best. Unfortunately it is not easy to get hold of as it can only be bought from the monastery and only at certain times. For more, see
http://www.sintsixtus.be/eng/home.htm

The Church services (7 times a day)are also open to the public and might interest you if you're in the vicinity ... although they're currently in the middle of a major building project so the guest house is closed etc. But they are a very vibrant community and the abbot is someone of real depth and wisdom.

Phil Sumpter said...

Sister Macrina Walker, thanks for the tip! The experience sounds delicious, in all senses of the word. Unfortunately, it is a tad too far to drive. We've already got a packed program and I don't think I can justify the journey to my family! However, I live in Bonn, so next time I fancy an adventure I'll bare this destination in mind.

Fascinating blog, by the way! You're steeped in an area I have barely touched the surface of ...