07 January 2013

Tip of the Day: Bruges and Brews

Continuing Education and photos from Belgium

For local Denver cyclists who enjoy travel, art and beer - I discovered this course titled Bruges and Brews at our local Denver University. It will be offered 4 nights - January 28, February 4th, 11th, 18th, including 3 in-class sessions, plus 1 session at a local restaurant for tasting. The class is presented by a associate professor of Art History through the University College at University of Denver (DU) non-credit enrichment program, $175 (including the beer and food tasting dinner at the last class). Thirty (or more) students total, with only 12 seats available as of tonight (Update: sold out). read more

I like Belgium, it is truly a cycling mecca with the best beer in the world. I think it enjoyable to continue learning about a place, even after visiting. There is much more to be learned beyond a 2-week fly-by vacation which seems to only wet the whistle. As much as I scour the internet, read guide books, learn maps and investigate before any trip, I never have a sense of a place until I have been there, until I have walked the streets. Very true about a trip to Belgium.

I was in Bruges last spring, it was my 3rd visit to Belgium, every visit being completely different. I was just 21-years old upon my first visit with my Mother, we took in the arts. I was 31 upon my next visit to Bruges with my husband, we took in the arts, food, beer, and visited friends. Last year I returned to chase bike races (Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix) and learn more about Belgian beer, bergs and countryside.

I completely missed the arts during my last visit, although I more than covered the bergs and brews. I thought this course could fill in some of the gaps and continue my education, prepping me for my next travel vacation to Belgium. At $44 a night for 2 hours of entertainment, it is a bit steep, but far cheaper than the thousands of dollars (for Americans, hundreds for Europeans and Brits) spent on airfare, car, hotel, and buying more guidebooks!

This course description caught my attention: "From its historic Trappist monastic breweries to its array of splendid art and architecture, Flanders boasts preeminence in many artistic fields, though perhaps none more divergent than the odd couple of fine brewing and oil painting. We invite you to explore the rich cultural heritage of this region by combining into one course Belgium’s artistic richness, beer-brewing superiority and tasty culinary traditions." That's university level lingo for Let's drink beer!

I'm in! Each night I can be reminded of my recent travels and relive the adventures, while learning even more about Belgium. Traveling in Belgium was the highlight of my year in 2012. I say why not travel cheap by searching for continuing education language, art and travel classes in your own city.

Read some Pedal Dancer posts from visiting Belgium in 2012:
More from 2012
Enjoy some photos of Bruges, Belgium - in search of friets, beer, and waffles (all photos by Karen at PedalDancer.com) click any image to enlarge :
The endless choice of delicious beers in Belgium.
Beers at De Garre in Bruges, tucked away down an alley. Fun!
More beers at 't Brugs Beertje in Bruges
So many options for beer tasting in Brugge
food and drink at Brasserie Cambrinus in Bruges
Grand Cru Rodenbach
Walking the streets of Bruges with frites en (Andalouse) mayo
Beautiful architecture in Bruges
Boats in Bruges
Witloof (Belgian Endive) in the market
Mini hot waffles from the morning market in Bruges
Sculpture and Pond at t'Zand square Bruges
Enjoy some other photos of Belgium (all photos by Karen at PedalDancer.com) click any image to enlarge :

Lion of Flanders
Mur de Grammont
The Manneken Pis in Geraardsbergen thought to be the oldest
Is this art? Bike Sculpture on a roundabout in Brakel, Belgium
The start of the Paterberg climb and typical countryside in Belgium
This is Tour of Flanders country (Ronde van Vlaanderen)
Expecting crowds on the Koppenberg, two days before the big race
Such beautiful country to pedal through
I learned it's best not to say "I'll eat anything" while in Belgium
Chances are you'll see some world champion cyclists. Team BMC in Kortrijk.
Bernhard Eisel, Matthew Hayman, Edvald Boasson Hagen of Team Sky before a training ride
Yum, pies and torts in Belgium
Cheeses in a storefront window in Ghent, Belgium
Belgian Easter chocolates
Strolling the streets of Gent

Trappistes Beer
When a bike race takes over the city of Bruges. Start of Tour of Flanders.
Belgians love cyclists almost as much as their beer
Or is it beer as much as cyclists? Cycling fans
Watching the Tour of Flanders on the Kwaremont
Tom Boonen, the winner of both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix in 2012
The Menin Gate in Ypres
Tyne Cot, British war memorial cemetary
The rough cobbles of Carrefour de L'Arbre (Paris-Roubaix race, France)
Beautiful scenery along a bike ride in Belgium near Kerkhove
Mmmm, oh the memories of walking with a fresh hot waffle to go