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Van Moll & Mokum

Another weekend well spent with beer and running! This time the beer festival was Van Moll Fest in Eindhoven, and the run was in Amsterdam, where I joined the Amsterdam Hash House Harriers!

The weekend didn’t start that well: only on Saturday morning I found out I had to take a rail replacement bus service, from Tilburg to Eindhoven! Kudos to the NS though, it was all well announced and indicated at the station.

This year’s Van Moll Fest was definitely muddier than the previous editions I had been to, but luckily no more rain fell after the gates opened. On the other hand, it did feel like it was quite a bit more expensive than previously, with many beers costing two or even three tokens for a 20 cl serve, and that at € 3 per token! There were however plenty of new breweries to discover, so it was still worth it for me.

Since Eindhoven is a bit of a pain to get back home from after drinking quite a few beers—I’ve had a bad and very expensive experience with that—I spent the night in a nice ‘auberge‘ this time… After some bacon & banana pancakes for breakfast at The Happiness Café, it was time to move on to Amsterdam. The journey started with a rail replacement bus service again, until Boxtel this time…

Upon arrival in Amsterdam—also known as Mokum—I first went for a proper coffee at Sango, just in time to shelter for the rain! I then still had some time to kill, and since I had to take the tram at the central station anyway, a couple of beers at BrewDog Centraal Station was the obvious choice!

The reason for coming to Amsterdam, however, was to run with the Amsterdam Hash House Harriers! They run at exactly the same time as BMPH3—Sundays at three o’clock—but since it was actually quicker to get to Amsterdam on a Sunday morning, I decided to run with AH3 instead this time. Even though it was my first time running with them, there were quite a few people I already knew from other hashing events.

I just can’t go to the Netherlands without having something with peanut sauce! I asked my fellow hashers about recommendations for nearby Surinamese or Indonesian restaurants, and thus I ended up at Café Kadijk. Some Javanese meatballs and satay ayam later, both well doused in peanut sauce, I was on my way to the train station again, for a final beer at BrewDog Centraal Station, and my train home…

Warszawa & Berlin – Day 7

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Back to Brussels…

And just like that, it was time to go home again.

To keep things simple, I just had breakfast at ibis Berlin Mitte, with a view on wat seemed to be a rooftop apiary. I didn’t try the waffle maker, but I was tempted!

After checking out of the hotel, I took the M2 tram again—the tram with which every day in Berlin started and ended—to Berlin Hauptbahnhof, to take the ICE to Köln.

The ICE arrived almost in time, so I had plenty of time for a coffee at Blooming Coffeebar and Roastery, before a last beer in Germany. I was considering going for a Kölsch, like last time, but when I passed Craftbeer Corner Coeln, still well before its opening tim, there was already some movement inside, and the door was open. When I asked about their 18:00 opening, they took pity on me, and served me some beers already!

From there it was back onto an ICE, for the last stretch to Brussels. That meant the end of another wonderful trip, full of great discoveries, and happy revisits of familiar places!

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Warszawa & Berlin – Day 4

On-On to Berlin H3

Today started way too early, but I had to get to Warszawa Centralna to catch the Berlin-Warszawa Express: I needed to be back in Berlin in time for my next hash. I planned on getting a kotlet schabowy in the restaurant car just before arriving in Berlin, but unfortunately they wouldn’t accept cards anymore after crossing the border. So I had the next best thing after arriving in Berlin Lichtenberg: a Schnitzelbrötchen.

Then it was a quick trip to ibis Berlin Mitte to check in and change into my running gear.

From there I went to Potsdam Hauptbahnhof, where the trail of the Berlin Hash House Harriers would start. It was a slightly longer run than yesterday, a bigger turnout as well, and definitely a longer circle. All in all: great fun!

When it was all over, I went back to Mitte for a shower and change in the hotel, and some chow, before hitting the town for some beers…

On the programme tonight: Muted Horn, Lager Lager, Biererei, and—just in time for last call—Hopfenreich. Nothing new, but all great to return to!

Warszawa & Berlin – Day 3

On-On with Warsaw H3!

On my last day in Warszawa, I managed to be downstairs in time for breakfast in the hotel! Some breakfast elements—different kinds of sausages, cooked vegetables—must be typically Polish…

One more museum on the schedule today: the Stacja Muzeum, a train museum. Maybe it’s not as slick as the one in Schaerbeek, but the number of trains on display may even be bigger, and some definitely even cooler!

The main event of the day, however, was my run with the Warsaw Hash House Harriers. It was a small pack—there were just eight of us—and the markings were quite peculiar, to say the least… The trail was nice though—albeit rather short—and it led me to some parts of Warszawa I hadn’t seen yet.

After circle, I went back to the hotel for a shower and change, to head out again for dinner.

Tonight’s pick was Zapiecek, where I had some bigos and potato dumplings with cottage cheese. The bigos was not my favourite, I must admit, the sauerkraut taste was stronger than I expected…

My last beer stops in Poland were the very hip—think fancy cocktails and bouncers—Cuda na Kiju, and the infamous PiwPaw Beerheaven.

Warszawa & Berlin – Day 1

Welcome to Warszawa!

My European Sleeper arrived in Berlin Hbf bang on time—even though the stewardess warned me it often arrives early—so I could stick to my schedule and go full Hobbit: have a second breakfast!

I actually saved most of my packaged train breakfast for later, so there was plenty of room to indulge in the breakfast buffet at the InterCityHotel Berlin Hauptbahnhof. More importantly, it provided me with a very comfortable ‘waiting room’, since my next train would be three hours later! I’ve spent enough time aimlessly wandering through the Berlin train station or just having fast food on previous trips, so having some comfortable seats, power, and clean toilets was nice for a change.

My next train was the Berlin-Warszawa Express, run by the Polish rail operator PKP Intercity. In a little over five hours it would take me to Poland’s capital Warsaw. At about 1160 km from Brussels, this also marks the furthest destination I’ve reached by train… so far!

The train was a bit of a special one: lots of 6-seater compartments, and for first class it was the only option. Not my favourite seating arrangement, when not travelling with people I know… However, since the booking system didn’t allow me to pick a specific seat, I booked first class anyway, so I would at least have slightly wider seats. And complementary snacks and drinks, apparently!

After finally arriving in Warszawa, I took a bus to the ibis budget Warszawa Centrum check-in. I booked the hotel when I was still hoping the Warsaw Beer Festival would be this week, hence the location slightly out of the centre of the city…

Bags dropped off, it was just a short and easy walk to Kawiarnia Fabryczna for some coffee.

My first beer in Poland was at Gorączka Złota. Not your typical craft beer bar, but a great start. And I managed the whole visit without a word of English being spoken! A very important phrase I looked up and memorised was “Mały, proszę” (small, please), otherwise I would have been drinking pints all night…

I had been told to check out the phenomenon of ‘milk bars’, so for dinner I went to Bar Mleczny Bambino. There I had my first taste of traditional Polish cuisine: gołąbki—stuffed cabbage leaves—and kluski leniwe—potato dumplings.

With something in my stomach, it was then time to hit the first craft beer bars: Jabeerwocky, Kufle i Kapsle, and Hopito Craft Beer.