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Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Stop #2 on our European adventure was perhaps the most anticipated.  Because it was our goal to sample the fine foods and beer in this part of the world, Chimay was a prime destination.  Not only do the monks here create the famous Trappist beer of the same name, but they also craft an extensive line of cheeses.


The most fun part of this leg of the trip was that we spent it in the company of good friends.  Friends of ours from university days had since moved to the Netherlands (and recently had a little baby girl).  Along with Aaron (who we met up with in Düsseldorf), we made a nice little party of six (or maybe five-and-a-half!).


We fit (snugly!) into a European rent-a-car.  Which was essential, since Chimay is a bit off-the-beaten-track.

Thanks for the cheese, gals!

So, just for the part of me that loves accuracy, let me explain what I mean by "Chimay".  I'm using the name a bit loosely to describe the area we visited.  Chimay is a small village in Wallonia, the southern region of Belgium.  About 10 km away, out in the countryside, you can find the Abbey of Notre Dame de Scourmont.  The Abbey is home to the Trappist monks who brew and cheese-make (the profits of their enterprise go to running the monastery and helping the poor).  Their product brand is also Chimay.  We did spend a few hours in the town of Chimay (photos to follow), but we stayed at the Auberge de Poteaupré, the inn loosely associated with the monastery and just a short walk from the grounds.

Whew.  Hope that explains it for you.  Now for the pictures!

Auberge de Poteupre

[Auberge de Poteaupré]

Fork in the road

[walk through the woods]



[grounds of the Abbey]

Church at the abbey

[inside the Abbey church]

Chimay (town)

[ancient church in Chimay (town)]

Chimay (town)


I think it's quite evident from the pictures, but the area was beautiful.  Quiet, pastoral and green.  The weather was perfect - temperatures in the mid-twenties, sunshine, and not a cloud in the sky.  The Inn was in fabulous shape with crisp linens on the bed and friendly service in the restaurant.  The monastery was utterly peaceful and beautifully kept by the monks.  The town was just ancient - stone buildings and cobblestone streets in need of repair - but charming none-the-less.  Language-wise, we got along fine (Mike was a French immersion kid, and quite a few locals spoke basic English).  Chimay and the surrounding area made for a great long weekend and would be the perfect spot to go if you wanted to get away from it all.

Apparently, writing about the locale alone makes a full post!  I think I'll give you a breather.  You can read all about the food (including cheese!) in my next entry.


Margie said...Best Blogger Tips

sounds lovely !

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