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Tag: train

Yuletide Trip to Breda

After a largely failed attempt to enjoy Breda’s craft beer scene in 2020, I had more success this year! A train cancellation just before I was about to set off, didn’t bode well, but when I eventually got to Breda, all the bars I intended to visit where open, and serving a fine selection of local and not-so-local beers!

The coffee places were quite full, in this strange period between Christmas and New Year, so I decided to forgo coffee all together, and went straight for beer! On the itinerary for the afternoon were Zeezicht, Café Sam Sam, and Mr. Barley—which, in despite of its lack of bar, is not a self service bar!

Even though I had a decent brunch that morning, it was about time to line the stomach again before continuing with some more, quite strong beers. Being the peanut sauce fan I am, I picked out a satay place in the Foodhall Breda: Minang Kabau. It turned out to be an excellent choice!

The evening was then spend tasting many beers—one even straight from the tank!—in Brouwcafé Frontaal. It was quite empty when I sat down at the bar, but it filled up quite nicely behind me!

Then it was time to take the last train back to Brussels. It was quite a bit emptier than the train I had taken to get to Breda—train cancellations tend to have that effect on the next trains—so the journey home was pleasant enough, and uneventful.

24 Hours in Amsterdam

For an exam I might tell you more about in another post, I needed to be in Amsterdam last Friday morning. To avoid getting up very, very early to be there in time, I decided to already travel to the Dutch capital the day before, and spend the night there.

So after I fulfilled my work obligations in Brussels, I packed my bag, and headed to Brussels-South railway station, to catch my Thalys to Amsterdam. After arrival, and waiting thirty minutes for a tram that was supposed to come every six minutes, I could finally check into my hostel, CityHub. As you can see, the ‘rooms’ are quite special!

Bag dropped, I headed to a nearby Indonesian restaurant, Café Amoi. Boy, do I miss ‘Dutch’ Indonesian food in Brussels! I had the satay ayam, with some nasi goreng and a krupuk mix. And extra peanut sauce, of course!

After dinner I went straight back to the hostel to study a bit more, and get rested for the next day. I even resisted the temptation to have a local beer from the self-service tap in the hostel!

Friday started with my pre-booked hostel breakfast at The Breakfast Club. The exam itself only took about an hour and a half, so soon after I was looking for coffee already, which I found at Monks Coffee Roasters.

Then it was time for one of those Dutch staples, a ‘broodje kroket’. Although you can get them ‘from the wall’—yes, like a huge vending machine for hot snacks—one of the best places to have one remains Eetsalon Van Dobben. Since I thought it was still a bit too early to start dinking beer, I then played tourist for a bit, and bought ‘some’ liquorice to take home…

Although I was actually on my way to another coffee place, when I passed Het Lagerhuys, I couldn’t resist, and already had a first beer there. I did manage to get to Hummingbird for that coffee afterwards, though!

By then it was was—in my opinion at least—late enough to taste some more beer! The first stop was at Foeders, since that bar was the furthest from the centre. I love peeling and eating the peanuts there! You can usually tell by the amount of peanut shells on the floor how busy it has been so far, but that day, I was obviously the first to have had a crack at it.

From there I went to the Beer Temple—where I also had some ‘bitterballen’—Proeflokaal Arendsnest—with some ‘borrelnootjes’—and Bierproeflokaal In de Wildeman.

After all those classic bars—not much seems to have changed in the Amsterdam beer scene—it was already time to slowly make my way back to the station. However, I still had time for a final Surinamese dinner at Kam Yin!

Wien, Bayern & Berlin Reise – 10

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Back to Brussels

So the last day of my trip—the voyage home—went a little bit different than I originally planned. I actually knew that it would a couple of days ago, when Deutsche Bahn sent me an e-mail telling me the one of the trains I booked was cancelled, but I could use my ticket for other DB trains to get me home.

So I looked up another convenient combination of ICE trains, and booked seats on those, since my original seat reservations did no longer apply, of course. However, those were considerably later than my original trains, so I decided to add a late checkout to my easyHotel booking. That way I could sleep in a little, and leave my bags in the room while I went out for brunch.

For that, I went to Codos this time, where I had a very tasty breakfast burrito.
By then it was time to do a last bit of packing, and actually check out.

I did well reserving a seat on the train I planned taking, since it was absolutely packed, even in first class! Add to that the fact that about an hour before departure, they had to switch trains, so everyone with a reservation was assigned a new carriage and seat. As you can imagine, quite a few people didn’t see that e-mail before they boarded, so where clueless about where to sit…

I didn’t manage to book a solo seat, but since someone though you could reserve a seat for luggage as well, and used the seat next to me for that purpose, I kind of sat solo after all. I did have to suffer quite a few dirty looks from people who thought that those were my suitcases! Anyway, I was seated quite comfortably until at least Frankfurt Flughafen train station, and got started on watching Die Kaiserin, which seemed quite apt to finish this trip with.

In Frankfurt I had to change onto another ICE, and even had a seat in the compartment with the see-through wall behind the driver’s seat, but unfortunately it was set to opaque.. On this train I didn’t have a solo seat either, but the person that reserved the seat next to me between Köln and Aachen, never showed up.

By the time I arrived in Brussels—quite tired, after ten full days, and with a delay of over forty minutes—I had finished watching Die Kaiserin, and was ready to take the last few metros home, unpack, and organise my virtual and real souvenirs of this trip.

Wien, Bayern & Berlin Reise – 7

Berlin by Boat

After awaking in my last hotel for this trip, I had breakfast at Zeit Für Brot, and a visit to the Tränenpalast, to learn a bit more about a side of Berlin I wasn’t too familiar with yet.

A first coffee at Café Neundrei, and it was time for a little cruise on the Spree, in a canal boat from Amsterdam, converted to be 100% electric now.

For lunch I went to Markthalle Pfefferberg, one of the newest trendy food places. Fewer restaurants than I expected there to be, but the Kerala fried chicken burger was quite tasty nevertheless. Quality over quantity, right? Although the quantity of the food from Gully Burger was more than sufficient as well…

In the far east of Berlin was Dark Matter, where I discovered—among many other mesmerising things—the clean future of campfires.

Another coffee at Tres Cabezas, and it was finally time for beer! First up was Straßenbräu, followed by Bräugier Ostkreuz—where Certified Cicerone Oli gave me some helpful tips for my upcoming exam—Schalander, Protokoll of course, and to finish the night with some dirty fries and a stamp, Brewdog Friedrichshain.

Wien, Bayern & Berlin Reise – 6

Breakfast in Bamberg, Beer in Berlin

Time to travel again! To avoid a half standing breakfast again—yesterday’s bakery had quite peculiar ‘seating’ arrangements—I booked a breakfast in my hotel, saving some time in the process.

I still had time for one museum before my train, so I went to the Diözesanmuseum. I originally just planned it as a ‘filler’ museum, just to kill some time and check off another activity on my Bamberg Card, but as I had learned about the importance of Bamberg as an episcopal city, I’m glad I included it. When I was an altar boy, we didn’t have a handy “A” for “aqua” and “V” for “vinum” on the little jugs for water and wine, as far as I can remember!

After a Portuguese coffee at Zuckerstück, it was time to check out, and I headed to the station for my ICE to Berlin.

In Berlin, I headed straight for my familiar easyHotel to check in and drop off my baggage, and then off to Populus Coffee for a proper third wave coffee. Then it was time to go to Lager Lager, and boy, was it nice to taste an IPA again, after days of lagers…

The next stop was Markthalle Neun, for some beers at Heidenpeters, and some empanadas from one of the Street Food Thursday stands.

Then it was time to revisit some classics—Biererei, Hopfenreich, and Muted Horn—before turning in for the night.

Wien, Bayern & Berlin Reise – 4

Oktoberfest, the OG

Time to move on to Bamberg, but with a very important stop along the way, München. It’s the end of September, so it isn’t hard to guess where I went: Oktoberfest! I put on my brand new Lederhose—I shrunk out of the pair I bought a couple of years ago—and headed to Wien Hbf for my four hour ÖBB Regiojet trip to München. It was too early to have breakfast before boarding, so I had my last Austrian breakfast on the train.

After arriving in München and storing my bag for the day, I first went for lunch, to line my stomach for what was to come. Although is didn’t really have time to play the tourist, there was one place I had sung about many times before—🎶In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus🎶—so I simply had to visit it, and of course already have a Maß of Dunkles with my Obazda there.

A quick coffee at Man versus Machine Coffee Roasters, and I was ready for the main event.

As I’m quite a traditionalist—even if it comes to traditions I’m not really a part of—I went straight for the Oide Wiesn, and its Festzelt Tradition. They had a Blaskapelle playing there, and even served the beer—Augustiner Edelstoff—in stoneware Keferloher, instead of glass.

Since I would have to spend almost two hours on the train during dinner time, I decided to have an early dinner—Knuspriger Spanferkelbraten mit Kartoffelknödel und Speckkrautsalat—at the Augustiner-Keller, right next to the station.

In Bamberg a lot of places seem to close quite early on a weekday, so even before checking into my Ibis Bamberg hotel, I stopped at Brauerei Spezial for a Märzen.

To conclude the day, I went to Stillbruch, one of the few interesting places open late.

Wien, Bayern & Berlin Reise – 0

ÖBB Nightjet Brussels – Wien

For the first time ever, I can take a sleeper train right right from my home town of Brussels! This ÖBB Nightjet is taking me all the way to Austria’s capital Wien, in one easy ride.

I just missed out on being able to book a Deluxe room with en suite, but the toilet at the end of the carriage is clean so far, and after arrival I can go straight to the hotel for my morning shower.

Contrary to the sleeper trains I’ve used so far, the Nightjet is in day mode at departure—so normal seats and a roomy table—and the beds are only made later on. That means I could comfortably have my Too Good To Go dinner first, and a couple of train beers while watching some Netflix. I had to bring my own cooler bag with ice packs though, since fridges aren’t really common on trains in this part of the world…

It’s about time to turn in, if I want to get up early enough for breakfast, of which I will add the photos to this blog post once I have them.

Goodnight!

Addendum:

Breakfast!

FyneFest Trip – Day 9

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Back to London, on to Brussels

And just like that, it was time to head home again… After a bit of trouble getting my bag packed—adding a couple of T-shirts, a jumper, some whisky and beer glasses, and quite a few cans of beer will have that effect—I had my last breakfast and a coffee at the DogHouse, and I checked out.

I was in the station quite early, so I hung out in the LNER lounge for a bit, until the Azuma to London was ready to board.

In London, I had a couple of hours to kill, which I spent at BrewDog Camden, conveniently close to both King’s Cross and St Pancras International station. But eventually it was time to board the Eurostar, with which my FyneFest trip has come to an end…

FyneFest Trip – Day 7

Back to Glasgow to hash

After a last bacon and egg roll, it was time to say goodbye to the glen and the coos, and to get on the bus back to Glasgow.

After a pancake brunch at the Stack & Still, and staying at BrewDog Kelvingrove for a couple of hours, for some last beers at one of my favourite bars in Glasgow, and to get the festival blog updates online, I slowly made my way south.

The first stop was at Ride Brewing Co., which didn’t actually have their taproom open, but the brewer was happy to sell me some cold cans. Second stop was of course at the Koelschip Yard.

The final destination in Glasgow was at Eala Bhán. Not for the food or beer though, but to meet up and run with the Glasgow Hash House Harriers. They couldn’t believe I didn’t get my hash name yet, so they named me right then and there! Henceforth I’ll be known as “Out of Kilter”, although my home kennel might have to say a thing or two about that…

Then I caught the last train to Edinburgh, to finally check into my hotel for the next two nights: DogHouse Edinburgh. What a contrast with that yurt!