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”.
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.
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.
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.