At some point between the heavenly experience of staring down all the dusty bottles and samples of myriad unblended lambics over the weekend and relaxing in the biergartens of Bavaria, I noticed that I am no longer 21 years old. I cannot handle this intensity the way I used to. We spent a day in Brussels just sleeping, arising just long enough to enjoy a pleasant meal of lapin á la kriek, a traditional Flemish meal. We share a kiss in the Grand Place and before long we were sitting on a bus to…well…not far.
For an hour and a half our bus out of Brussels was delayed as we waited for another bus from London to bring a stack of passengers. Listening to the panoply of Englishmen, I remembered how easy you can tell the social standing of British people simply by the way they talk. These were not the Buckingham Palace set, I can assure you.
With the first rays of light illuminating the mist-shrouded fields of central Germany around 3:50am, sleep was hard to come by on the overnight bus. We were bleary-eyed when we arrived in Sulzbach-Rosenberg, our base of operations for the next four days. The two has 20,000 and a couple of breweries. We’re staying at one of them, Sperber Brau. The name means Hawk; the other brewery is Fuchsbeck (Fox). Sperber is pretty cool – breweriana everywhere even in our room. Bavaria is truly one of the most beery places I’ve seen.
Day two was the first of two days exploring nearby Amberg, with its six breweries. We bounced from one biergarten to the next, soaking up the sun and the peacefulness. The big thing for me was meditating on medieval life within the confines of city walls. For a modern country, it is so easy to mentally step back in time in these small Bavarian country towns. Rolling hills, fields of wheat, forests and lots of beer…this is a really cool place and I can hardly believe I’m here.
Oh, and I should briefly mention how sad it is to hear about that Air France flight going down. That is very freaky, since we just crossed the Atlantic on Air France. The world might not be so dangerous that you need to live inside fortified city walls, but there is risk in every little thing. You can’t let that stop you from getting out there and doing the things you love. With that in mind, it’s off to the biergarten.