Ian and I had both been to Brussels before on separate trips over ten years ago. We had already seen the major attractions so we felt like we could focus on food and beer and not get distracted by art, architecture, or history. Stay out of our way, culture, we have things to eat! (In truth, we visited one museum, which was great.)
Our first day, we started off right with omelettes and coffee. I missed you, French cheese!
Zwanze Day is an annual Cantillon event where a special beer is simultaneously released at 50+ bars around the world. Zwanze means “joker” in Dutch, and the event reflects the “wild card” spirit. The special beer changes each year, and tends to be an experimental lambic. This year was a “wild Brussels stout.”
Toasting with the 2015 Zwanze beer
We have previously established that I like Cantillon. So visiting Brussels meant a mandatory trip to the fountainhead, Brasserie Cantillon.
We take a lot of buses. There are good companies, like Polski Bus in Poland, or Student Agency in the Czech Republic with modern, clean, wi-fi enabled buses. They also have bus stewards/stewardesses, kind of like an airplane. On one particular bus we were treated to an announcer who liked to deliver all of her lines in a sort of liturgical chant. I recorded a snippet, so you too can experience the joy of busridership. Enjoy.
Today is our last day in Montenegro. We’ve been hanging out in the Bay of Kotor for the last nine days, catching the end of summer sunshine, relaxing, eating cheap seafood, kayaking, and marathoning Game of Thrones. It’s been like a vacation within our vacation! We will miss this place dearly but we are ready to hit the road again. Next destination: Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Flying into Montenegro, we were amazed at the lush landscape:
Český Krumlov looks like a town straight out of a fairy tale. We spent three days relaxing there with my parents and uncle. Ian went to Český Krumlov back in 2002 during record-setting rain and flooding, so he enjoyed seeing what the town looked like in the sunshine.
We explored the castle, climbed the bell tower, and visited the castle bears (!):
Prague is so overrun with dopey tourists tilting around on Segways that custom signage is necessary:
Who you gonna call? I’m picturing two nerds with proton packs vacuuming up tourists.
Poland had some really neat stuff. Some obviously illegal tagging, others clearly commissioned. View and enjoy.
Outside of Krakow
Pacman 2.0 doesn’t run from ghosts, he makes them. (Warsaw)
Crazy, right? This is a chandelier made of 100% bona fide human femurs and scapulas and such (oh yes I did).
We took a day trip from Prague to the town of Kutna Hora for the primary purpose of visiting the creepy and amazing Sedlec Ossuary. In the 1800s, Catholic monks “artfully” arranged the remains of between 40,000 and 70,000 people in the ossuary. Most of the bones belonged to plague victims who died in the fourteenth and fifteenth century.
Make no bones about it – there were skulls everywhere. My mom used to be an anatomy professor so she was super into it. Honestly, we were too. It was macabre but also beautiful. Take a look: (more…)