Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The space in/and around Hansbeke and Nevele, Belgium

Hansbeke, Belgium, ever heard of it? We hadn't either. We booked a room at b&b De Meetjes just a five minute walk from the town's train station. Their website advertised it as a bike stay, which fit our bill. You can say we were like celebrities when we arrived; meaning we got the type of attention we do in Egypt. If you could translate stares it would sound like, "you ain't from around here, are you?" 

After we checked in, we rented bikes and made our way out to the towns of  Nevele, Sint Martens Leerne, and places in-between.
Sint Martens Leerne in de Kasteeldreef-thank God for google earth. 
Gate to Kasteel van Ooidonk
Click here to read more about Kasteel van Ooidonk
As fate would have it, our friend Goedroen in Gent has roots in Hansbeke. Her father still resides there and she jotted down a couple of bars where we might run into him. We didn't have a chance to meet him, but everyone knew who he was. 
While we were having a drinks at cafe D'haenens, the town drunk in the making came up to our seats and asked how we ended up in Hansbeke. I asked if he knew Goedroen or her father. He made a comment about Goedroen's "poisonous blue eyes"...I guess someone made an impression. The history of cafe D'haenens was that it was a former butcher shop. When the men were sent by their wives to buy meat, their husbands would either come back home toasted or the wives would have to go fetch them. The cafe still sells aged pork but only if you are willing to wait a couple of months. 
BBQ time in the garden. Hilde, the owner De Meetjes thought it was a bit strange that I wanted to use her grill. 
The garden at b&b De Meetjes
The rain poured that evening for a short while and Hilde brought us a couple of beers to our room. That was very thoughtful of her. 
Building being taken over in Hansbeke.

Marc Hoet owner of De Verloren Hoet insisted on buying me a beer 

and taking the glass home. His food alone is worth the trip to Hansbeke.

Outside of De Verloren Hoet
Central Hansbeke
Hansbeke train station at 11:30 pm.
Love the blue glow and shadows from the sky.
The back yard of b&b De Meetjes
Ana was pretty beat from several days of riding, I was greedy and wanted more. I got more plus a brutal headwind as a bonus.
While we waited for our train to Gent we stopped at Cafe De Pesvelijn for a beverage and lottery tickets. The owner (who also knew Goedroen's father) told us a little about the history and comeback of Buffalo Bitter Beer (say that 10 times fast), I don't remember the entire story but it involved the circus! 

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