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Tag: hiking

Dutch Work Party – Leisure Time!

Thursday at lunchtime, the Dutch Work Party usually puts down their tools, to then spend the rest of the week however they please! However, even though this time we picked up our tools again on Friday morning, before we decided to do that, we already did enjoy a very relaxing Thursday afternoon!


We brought packed lunches, ready to eat on the car train, since our destination was on the other side of the mountain: Leukerbad Therme! Baths inside, outside, hot, cold, or warm, bubbles and massaging jets, slides, and all this combined with amazing mountain views!

In the evening we walked to Taverne Zur Gemmi, a little up the road from the scout centre. I was very surprised to find some Swiss craft beers here! I had both some Thunbier and Haarige Kuh beers. The landlady told me the latter were made by some Scottish brewers in Interlaken, which isn’t surprising if you see the hairy Highland coo on the label…


After our extra morning of work, we spent Friday afternoon in Interlaken. There is a little craft beer scene there—at least three craft breweries—which I couldn’t wait to discover!

Hüsi Bierhaus is kind of Barrel Brewing’s taproom, so I was able to drink and buy some of their beers there.

At Brasserie 17—not a brewery—I found some more beers from Haarige Kuh.

The last one I would never have entered if it wasn’t for the recommendation of a local beer geek who saw me searching for a brewery: Little Thai is really just a Thai restaurant, but it serves beers by Mountain Madness!

In the evening we had the traditional Swiss cheese fondue, albeit not in the main dining hall with staff and other guests this time, but just us in our private kitchen.


Our last full day in Kandersteg the weather was perfect for a hike in the mountains! Unfortunately many trails were still closed after some avalanches and landslides, so like dozens of others, we walked up to the Oeschinensee, and then a little further up to see a waterfall.

Since we had already cleaned our kitchen and handed in the keys, we spent our last evening at Taverne Zur Gemmi again. Just as well, since they had one more Haarige Kuh beer I hadn’t tried yet!

Dutch Work Party – Working…

From Monday morning until Thursday lunchtime, the Dutch Work Party actually does work to earn their stay, This way we help out the limited number of off-season volunteer staf, affectionately known as Pinkies, because of the colour of the T-shirts they usually wear. Our task for this season was to replace the wooden fence around the “Workhof”.

After tearing down the first part of the fence, we quickly discovered the job wouldn’t be as simple as one might think… Luckily the steel in concrete foundations could stay, so we wouldn’t have to dig in the frozen and rocky ground, but that is where the luck ended. Keeping the foundations also meant we had to make the new wooden beams fit the—as it turned out—each slightly different steel supports. The size of the beams also meant we had to be creative, since a lot of the tools present were not big enough to make the necessary cuts and holes in one go…

After solving all the problems, we managed to finally start constructing the fence. However, when our scheduled time was up, there still wasn’t much to show for all the time and effort we put in… So, during our free Thursday afternoon—more about that in the next post—we collectively decided to work Friday morning as well, and actually screw some planks onto those cursed posts!

Dutch Work Party – Warmup Day

The first Sunday of a Dutch Work Party is usually spent getting (re)acquainted with the other participating scouts, and a simple hike in the area. Considering the recent snowfall, we decided we wanted to go snowshoeing.

After waking up in the white Alps, having breakfast and preparing a packed lunch, we started looking into the different options for the day.

Plans and mountain conditions don’t always go well together though, and our first choice—going up with the Sunnbuël gondola lift and follow a snowshoeing trail from the top station—fell through: the trail was closed because of the high avalanche risk. The alternative we then picked, was a lower trail starting in the valley.

After strapping the snowshoes to our backpack, the five of us headed off. The trail started out snow free, but sure it would be covered higher up? It wasn’t… We reached the viewpoint—the highest point of our trail—without ever needing to put on our snowshoes.

Back in the centre of Kandersteg, we rewarded ourselves with some pastry at the Marmotte tea room, and a beer in the bar of Hotel des Alpes, affectionately called “Dessie’s” by KISC staff and regulars.

While we were there and on our way back to KISC, it didn’t stop snowing, so by the end of the day, there probably was enough snow on the trail to use snowshoes…

A Belgian Holiday – Part III

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If you want to read about this trip from start to finish, instead of in reverse order, click here!

For the last part of my Belgian holiday, I stayed close to home, in the old duchy of Brabant, and I went to Mechelen on Saturday, and to Antwerp on Sunday. It was a weekend well spent.


To get a bit of a walk in before the beers, I got off the train one stop early again, in Weerde. This way, I got to enjoy a bit of green before entering the town. When I arrived in the centre, it seemed just about everybody wanted to spend the day outside—and rightfully so—but luckily I found a free table at Sister Bean, to enjoy a coffee and and apple crumble.

When it comes to beer, it seems De Floeren Aap is the place to be in Mechelen nowadays. Needless to say, I spent quite some time on their terrace, to try some of their vast selection of canned beers. Not for too long, though, because I had a race the next morning…

Brussels Nature Run

Sunday morning I had my first ever running event: Brussels Nature Run! It was also the first time I ran somewhere not completely flat, so that was a bit of a challenge, and I almost regretted choosing the 16K instead of the 10K… It all worked out in the end, and I’m quite happy with the time I made.


The last day of my Belgian holiday, I spent in Antwerp. Because this was actually supposed to be my last day in Scotland, I went kilted on this occasion. I selected Antwerp for this last stop, because I knew there would be plenty of beer places to visit, and beer people to meet.

My first stop was at Billie’s Bottle Shop. Its little beer garden was already packed, but with a bit of improvisation, I eventually had a nice spot to enjoy some of Stéfan’s excellent selection of beers.

Next up was Station 1280, which had set up a terrace on a nice and quiet courtyard. Then it was time to discover a place I had never been before: The Northerner. Their draught beers were pretty standard, but here again, a very nice can list! The pulled pork sub was very tasty—and at that point very welcome—as well.

My last beer stop was, as usual, because of its proximity to the train station, Beerlovers Bar. Saying goodbye to Ben, and to Antwerp, also meant the end of my Belgian holiday.

Done reading about this trip? Resume reading my blog in the usual order!

A Belgian Holiday – Part II

For the second part of my Belgian holiday, I went to Wallonia. The beer world still seems to be a more old fashioned here—both when it comes to bars and breweries—but luckily there are some exceptions.


My day in Liège started again with a bit of a hike. The south of the country is a bit more hilly than the north, so there was a bit more climbing involved. At least that provided me with a couple of nice views as well!

After reaching the city centre again, it was time to nourish and refresh the body: coffee at Darius Cafe, a waffle—I was in Liège after all—from Une Gaufrette Superlipopette, and some beers at BeerLovers’ Café. I would have liked to have a couple at Wild Lab as well, but contrary to what they had told me before, they weren’t open…

Misery Beer Co.

Two days later I passed through Liège again, on my way to Comblain-la-Tour. From there I hiked to Misery Beer Co., as I did once before, but from a different direction this time, starting at the Comblain-La-Tour train station.

Once arrived at Misery, I spent a wonderful couple of hours there, enjoying a beer that had long eloped me, one that was just released that day, and some of their classics. If there’s one brewery I regret not participating in the crowdfunding of—”it’s in the middle of nowhere, I’ll never make it out there”—it’s this one… They always make me feel so very welcome, and their beers are outstanding!