Friday 22 December 2017

Day 112: North of Poperinge, Belgium

Morning outside Lille, with festive decorations, sheep, dogs, cockerel, chickens, turkey, geese, fish & a budgie.


To the city.

Turns out Lille is big.

Paroisse Saint Maurice.


Across town.

Christmas market.

Cathedral Notre-Dame de la Treille.

'Up yours!' said the biblical figure.


Back to Belgium!


Bitterballen - Dutch but close enough!

Christmas market.

Menin Gate WWI memorial to those with graves unknown.

Cathedral Saint-Martin.


Out of Ypres, and you guessed it, more churchy stuff! On the hunt for the birthplace of 'In Flanders Fields' we end up at Sint-Michielskerk, Boezinge.

The Yorkshire Trench.

Sunset in Flanders.

The most special abbey of them all, Westvleteren - Sixtus Abbey.

The monks here have won awards for brewing 'the best beer in the world'. The only way to obtain it is by special reservation over an almost-ever busy phone line to have your car registration details taken and obtain one of their oh-so elusive crate pick-up dates from a very limited set of opening times.

Of course we had fat chance of managing that right before christmas..

So imagine my utter glee when the Abbey's cafe shop had a six pack in stock! These cannot be reserved and its pure luck if you get any :) My children will be hidden carefully for a number of years..

After finding our farm for the night, we walked 3km back along the rural roads and moonlit fields to In De Vrede, the Abbey's cafe, the only place legally allowed to serve Trappist Westvleteren 12 - the best beer in the world..

Our last night in Europe, Bottoms up.

Croque-Monsieur & Abbey cheese.

A Westvleteren Blonde & rather hoppy cake. Look what the first drink did to Alex - I guess it's percentage was of holy proportions..

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