George, the birthday boy, goes in search of the best beer in the world,

LOCATION: Visiting friends in Ghent, Belgium

WEATHER: Cool. Highs in 50s.

Today’s destination was Flanders, in the far western part of Belgium, near the border of France. First, we visited the area where some of the worst battles of WWI took place. More than 600,000 soldiers died. We visited a museum, then a Canadian memorial, for that country’s lost soldiers.

Next up was beer. We were in the area where the Trappist monks make their world-famous brews.

In honor of George’s birthday today, we did a lot of partaking. This is a famous Trappist monk brewery.

The brewery that makes supposedly the best beer in the world, according to beer professionals, is made in this abbey…..

Due to the small amount made, it is very difficult to buy it. Customers call ahead of time to a special “beer line”, sometimes a year in advance. Then, an appointment is made for them to pick it up. In the photo below, you seem them lined up at the abbey in their cars to pick up their order. They are not allowed to speak at all to the monks. The transactions are made in silence.

We had a beer in the town nearby, hoping to taste the illusive brew. The bartender laughed at us when we asked if he had it. Nope, but he did have some other good beers….

The Flemish landscape is very rural and full of these windmills.

Back home, we toasted George on his birthday with champagne, then walked to dinner at our neighborhood bistro.

DINNER: At the bistro, we shared some beef tartare as an appetizer. We sampled each other’s main courses – a steak, a pork specialty dish, and a chicken dish in a puff pastry. All amazing.

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