Day Eight, Westvleteren: Westvleteren

We had to return the car by noon on Saturday. We figured we'd have plenty of time to drive to Westvleteren, buy beer and return to Ieper to return the car. We had planned on arriving at the abbey's café at 10 AM, when it opened, which would give us ample time to return the car before noon. Estimating an hour drive from Kortrijk, we planned to leave the hotel at 9 AM. After waking up and having breakfast, which was essentially identical to a hostel breakfast, we were on the road by around 9:15.

We took A19 from Kortrijk to Ieper and then got onto N8, which we again couldn't seem to follow due to abysmal signage. We were eventually able to successfully navigate to N321 using our map, but the fuel light came on so we had to drive to Poperinge to get gas. After getting fuel we headed back towards the abbey on N321, and arrived by 10:30. I purchased four Westvleteren 12 and two Westvleteren Blond, and David purchased 3 and 3. We would have stayed for a beer, but we needed to return the car. I would have taken some pictures, but we were feeling a little rushed.

We drove through Poperinge to Ieper where we had some difficulty navigating to the train station. Eventually we found it and dropped off our bags in a luggage locker. From the station it was an easy drive to the dealership, where we arrived only to find that the manager who could unlock the safe and give David his credit card wasn't there. He arrived promptly and we walked from the dealership back to the city center.

Belgian drivers are crazy. We were probably the slowest moving vehicle on any of the roads, and we were usually speeding. Cars would constantly pass us, seemingly going dangerously fast.

Having neglected to bring a razor, I was suffering from having not shaved the entire trip. We stopped at a grocery store and purchased some disposables and shaving cream. This lead to a joke about shaving on the train back to Brussels, which eventually led to the idea that someone shaving, with razor and shaving cream, on the subway in NYC would pretty much be ignored.

We had a lunch of pasta bolognese at In't Stadhuis before returning to Brussels via train.

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