Week Fifty-six

We have our checklist of Trappist Breweries to visit. Sadly, we have only crossed off one, Rochefort. This Sunday we decided to hop in the car for a 2 hour drive south to Florenville, right on the border of Belgium and France, to visit the Orval Abbey, makers of the the Trappist beer “Orval”.
Orval
As Abbeys go, Orval is quite remote. We drove through fields after fields and forests after forests to get to it. These monks like their isolation.

Houseorval
As you turn on the final road to get to the Abbey, you see this beautiful house sitting there as if it is typical. Lucky folks.

orvalcrate
Orval beer is lower in alcohol than most Trappist beers but it has an incredible smooth taste. It tastes more like an English and German beer than a Belgian beer, but no one holds that against them.

entranceorval
The Abbey itself is very welcoming and friendly to visitors (unlike Rochefort who wants you to get the hell off their property as fast as possible). It is divided into many sections but visitors are only allowed to visit the Medieval ruins of the Abbey as well as the upper balcony of their main cathedral. Other than that, you are not allowed access to the rest of the place, I don’t blame them, monks are quiet, people are loud.

copperpotorval jasonfillingorval
At the beginning there is a small indoor museum dedicated to the art of Orval beer making.

lilyposeorval
Let’s get this tour of the ruins started. Lately, Lily has decided that all pictures of her need to be vogued.

archruinsorval
The ruins are quite fantastic. You are given a map and there are sign plaques along the way in multiple languages (including english!) that guide you along the archeological tour.

spiralorval

altertomborval

Rosewindoworval

archesorval
catdoororval
Look mom! A cat door!

columnruinsorval

ZandLarchorval
herbgardenorval
This is the medicinal plant garden where the monks used to grow all the medicine they used for ailments. They probably could have just drank more beer and saved this space for a game room or something.

pharmacyorval
A view into the world of apothecary.

It was such a great tour and definitely worth the trip.
I was really ‘Lichen’ it. (heh heh heh… anyone? anyone? **crickets**)lichen1orval

lichen2orval

We exited through the gift shop and stocked up on some Orval and cheese. A great way to finish a Sunday in Belgium.
bottleandcheeseorval

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2 Responses to Week Fifty-six

  1. Kasiu says:

    what a great trip!
    I hope I will visit all Trappist monasteries one day 🙂

  2. kdcarver says:

    Wow. What a cool place. Everything I love: ruins, beer and cheese!

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