The Amateur Traveler talks to Sam Oppenheim who returns to the show to talk about a recent trip to Belgium. Starting in Brussels, Sam and his wife Mina also visited Ghent, Antwerp, Brugge, Bouillon, and Orval.
While Brussels may not measure up to Paris and London Sam found it surprisingly diverse with wonderful outdoor markets and charming architecture. The food may have been one of the most memorable things for Sam whether you are dining at fancy restaurants or just enjoying the frites, chocolate, and waffles. There is also an African influence leftover from Belgium’s days as a colonial power.
Ghent and Brugge both give you a better view of what medieval Belgium would have been like. Brugge is the more popular destination but Ghent is also a college town. Both cities have canals. The highlight of Brugge for Sam was the canal boat tour.
Throughout the trip you may sense a theme of beer since Belgium is known for its beer and Sam’s itinerary was heavily influenced by an article on where to taste Belgium beers including the Trappist beers.
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Law Courts of Brussels
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Flea Market at Jeu de Balle
Grand Cafe Horta
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Sam Oppenheim Photography
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P.S. Sam wants me to mention that “while I have a beer occasionally, I do not consider myself a beer enthusiast, but I am a taste enthusiast or “foodie”… Therefore Belgium entranced me with its culinary energy so that I decided to explore the plethora of beer flavors, chocolate types, frite dips, and waffle toppings…and as I did mention in the interview I was inspired by the afar article and the abbey-style beers have a creamier taste and full-bodied flavor in part due to special recipes but also the 7% or even higher alcohol content!”
The 7 Trappist Beers are:
- La Trappe