After spending four fantastic days in Bruges, we were starting to miss being on the bikes in the country. So we found a place to rent bikes for the day and set out for the Netherlands.
Sluis was only about 15 miles north of Bruges and a very beautiful bike ride next to the canals.
We had lunch (waffles!) and walked around the town. They have a beautiful huge windmill right in the center of town. And on the outskirts, the battlements and the ruins of an old fort.
After wandering around Sluis, which by the way is filled with sex shops because all the Belgians would come across the border to shop, we hopped back on the bike and decided to see if we could bike to the sea! It was about 10 miles away, and as we got closer the wind really picked up.
The North Sea! And yes, it was cold! It was only about 75 degrees out and very windy, but people were sunbathing and many people were swimming in the water! I don’t think I could have gotten in without a wetsuit!
It was kind of a grey, bleak day. But the beach was still beautiful. We had a picnic lunch and hopped back on the bikes to head home.
Once back in Bruges, we dropped off our bikes (good riddance, they were terrible rentals, I’m surprised they held up all day, every time I would hit a bump in the road the bell would ring!) and headed back to the hotel to shower and get ready for dinner.
In one of the main squares was this old man, all he was missing was a monkey!
For dinner, again we consulted the Good Beer Guide Belgium, and found the Nieuw Museum. It was not a museum, but it was off in a quiet part of town and of course it had a good beer menu.
I ordered the Noir de Dottignes by Brouwerij De Ranke of Wevelgem, Belgium, considered a Belgian Strong Dark Ale at 9% abv.
Poured very dark, dark toasted malts, raisins, cream, dark chocolate, coffee. In terms of alcohol content it’s a Strong Ale, but it almost tastes more like a stout. Thick and full bodied.
But the best part of the restaurant was that all the meat was cooked on an open fireplace in the center of the room. I ordered the steak and it was one of the best I’ve had so far in Belgium. I learned throughout my stay, that if you like your steak medium rare then you should order it rare. I feel like they all came back just a hair overcooked for my liking. Delicious though.
The atmosphere was very cozy as well. The place was bustling, but we were seated right away. A nice mix of locals and tourists.