Brussel had once again summer temperatures and this time supplemented with a long weekend. We decided to explore more of the parks in Brussels. As mentioned earlier the city is one of the greener capitals of Europe with a lot of parks small and large ones.
Take the tram or bus to Forest (station Rochefort). The commune lies to the south-west of the city, between Ixelles and St-Gilles and Uccle to the south-east. You will find a lot of art deco buildings including its town hall. There are several green areas in this part of town. We took a walk in two connected parks Parc de Forest and the wilder Parc Duden. Close by is Place de l’Altitude Cent one of the highest point in Brussels and offers spectacular views across the city. Here you will also find the Forest National, the city’s biggest concert venue, which attracts major stars on international tours.
The other area visited is located in the east, towards Tervuren. Take tram 39 or 44 from Montgomery along avenue Tervuren to the Tram Museum. Opposite you will see the large (close to 200 acres) Parc de Woluwe. It is very popular for picnics and has a large variety of trees, more than 200. From here the walk starts on the old, now closed, railway between Brussels and Tervuren.
The old railway line 160 opened in 1882 by King Leopold II between Brussels and Tervuren, later it became the first electrified wide gauge line in Belgium. In 1958 passenger traffic ceased and in 1971 the line was abandoned completely and was taken over by motorways and the metro. However 5.5 km was transformed into a green commuting corridor between Audergem and Wolluwe-St Lambert. It connects university campus to the commission offices including shopping centres, schools, restaurant, sport centres and important transport interchanges. Several footbridges have been built along the path nicely integrated into the urban environment.
The walk is quite straightforward all the way up to the end of the path where part of a railway platform can be seen on the right hand side. The walk then continues through the houses up to metro Kraainhem and through some smaller parks to the university campus at Alma. A quick walk through the campus leads to the river Woluwe and a windmill as starting point for the return.
Follow the river nicely running through a park area. Soon Parc Malou the largest park of Woluwe-Saint-Lambert but also the oldest can be seen.
There is an old water mill, Le Moulin de Lindekemale on the route. It is now a French, quite expensive (€50), restaurant.
The next view is Castle Malou, build in neoclassic style in 1772 and it was initially a hunting lodge! Soon avenue Tervuren is reached and the Park Woluwe. If there is time I would suggest an additional walk, in this very beautiful park, before a return.
After this exercise, why not continue the tram/buss all the way downtown and visit Moeder Lambic (in Sint Gilles), a famous beer café not far from the local Cantillon brewery (getting back to that later). They have a lot of bottled beers and of course a lot of Lambic/Geuze type of beers, several of them on tap, hand pumped. There is also a newer Moeder Lambic Fointainas not far from this original one. Both of them are definitely a must if you are into Lambic.
OK, so what about Brussels sprouts? Some research showed, that although originally from ancient Rome, they were grow,n possibly as early as the 13th century, in what is now Belgium. Brussels sprouts are very healthy and contain good amounts of vitamins A, C, folid acid and they are also believed to protect against colon cancer.
Why not taste the Trappist cheese so we did test one from Chimay. In 1862, the monks added a dairy and a brewery to the Abbey to help generate funds for their livelihood. Soon thereafter, they started making cheese from milk produced at the dairy.
The rind is washed with their famous Chimay beer rather than ordinary spring water. This new variety developed an incomparable flavour that delighted the nose as well as the palate. The cheese is semi-soft and has a nutty, well-finished flavour with just a hint of hops and malt. While its aroma is quite strong, the taste of the cheese itself is somewhat mild but not at all bland.
So let us also taste the Chimay Blue 9%, is one of the so called strong ales here in Belgium. This top fermented Trappist beer, refermented in the bottle, is not pasteurised and is a well known Belgian brand all over the world.
It is strong although it has, as all the Trappist beer, a complex taste. It is nice but not as smooth as some of the other Trappist beers. I am not sure it is a perfect pairing to their cheese, maybe a sweeter beer would be a better companion.
- EU continued
- In search for the best beer (an on-going quest for the perfect pint)
- More seafood
Facts of the week;
Drink; Chimay Blue 9%,
Location; Moeder Lambic, Savoiestraat 68 Sint Gilles
Point of Interest: The old railway Brussels-Tervuren nice walk and return along river Woluwe.
Food: Brussel sprout, very healthy and the Chimay cheese