Motte and Bailey and Limburger Cheese


I type this in the hotel lobby while waiting for the train just across the street that will take me to Brussels. The conference closed at 13, I had sandwiches with my colleagues and then set out again for the countryside south of town to grab me a geocache. On the Mergel ridge I saw a motte (an 11th/12th century fortification mound), and I suppose the remains of its bailey might also have been visible if I had entered the pasture it sits in. I’ve only seen one of those before, in Oxford.


Then I crossed the Jeker stream on a foot bridge by a mill and entered farmland. Apple orchards, pastures full of cows, vineyards, fields of maize and sugar beets. And at St. Lambert’s spring I finally found what I had been looking for, signed the little book, grabbed an effigy of Homer Simpson that wanted to travel, and returned to town on tired feet.

Stocking up on food for the afternoon and evening, I bought some of the famed local Limburg cheese as well. I’ve never had it before, but it seems to be potent stuff. I was scanning the display at the super market for something slablike or brickish, but when I found the Limburger the largest package turned out to be just a small 200 g cube. Breakfast tomorrow, and damn the consequences.

Update next morning: Airport security agrees: Limburger is a potential safety risk, so they confiscated it. Instead I bought some Chimay, which is nice but very mild.


  1. #1 kai
    September 24, 2009

    They didn’t even let it travel in the hold? Wow, it must be as dangerous as Corsican goat cheese.

  2. #2 Martin R
    September 24, 2009

    I realised belatedly that I should have gone back past the security check queue and eaten the Limburger on the spot.

  3. #3 Pierce R. Butler
    September 24, 2009

    Did you ask your airliner seatmate(s) about that belated realization, and did they concur?

  4. #4 Martin R
    September 24, 2009

    I just took off my shoes and stunk up the cabin.

  5. #5 DianaGainer
    September 24, 2009

    It’s just as well you didn’t eat the Limburger on the spot and then try to pass through security. With such potent cheese inside you, all sorts of havoc might have ensued, you know. My white hair under a baseball cap ignited a firestorm in the San Francisco airport, once revealed, and I almost missed my flight home due to the intense scrutiny and near-strip-search — in public, too. I’m not sure what set off this alarm aside from the white hair and bare feet. But they sure were edgy! I did have cheese at breakfast.

  6. #6 Martin R
    September 24, 2009

    Scary hippie lady! She has big bombs under shirt!

  7. #7 Thinker
    September 25, 2009

    What a waste of good cheese!

    I am very fond of tasty cheeses, and usually bring some home from travelling, especially when in Switzerland. There, I have found a shop which will vacuum pack the cheese for you, and have had no problems bringing even quite pungent stuff on flights. It works well for eveything but the softest kinds – those tend to emerge from the vacuum pack all messed up…

  8. #8 Martin R
    September 25, 2009

    Trouble was I didn’t have any check-in baggage to put the cheese in.

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