Reading up on Belgium

by Jon Sullivan - 2019-09-25

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The big 2020 photo trip will really be a beer trip. And chocolate. And fries. And Eels?

The last few years I seem to have fallen into this pattern of taking one big photo trip a year. 2018 = Ireland, 2019 = Utah, 2020 = Belgium.

A Belgian Trappist beer vacation has been on my list for a long time, since I love Belgian beer styles. The problem is that, before I settled on it, I knew exactly nothing about Belgium. So the task now is figuring out how to make it more than just a drunken bus ride.

What are the great photo locations? What's the tripod situation? Does anyone there speak english? Is crime something to worry about? Will vegetarians starve or be forced to eat fries covered in mayo for every meal? How do Belgian fries match up to the great chips we had in Ireland?

The main thing to research is photo locations. I have no doubt I could just set up in Bruges for 10 days and not run out of things to photograph. But the main goal is to roam the whole country (and Netherlands) drinking every beer we can find. So I need to find the perfect intersection places we'll be drinking beer, and nearby great photos.

So far I'm pretty much blown away by what I'm learning. Belgium seems like a ton of great stuff packed into a rather small country. I'm looking forward to the beer of course. But now I'm also looking forward to the food, the photos, the adventure of a new place. In fact I'm starting to think one trip isn't going to be enough. One trip for beer, another trip to explore the country.

We'll be on an organized tour with a driver chaufering us around. I'm very much the independent travel sort of person. But for this trip I don't want to have to worry about limiting my inebriation so that we can get to the next brewery. The tour seems to include plenty of time for us to explore on our own. And we'll see how drunk Jon is as a photographer. A lot of the photos I already have in my mind are sunrise situations. So that will be a challenge. Can't get too drunk since I have to get up early.

Anyway..... I'm very excited. Already know where I'll be standing at 6am on some days 7 months from now. So weird.

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