Blogs from Leuven, Flemish Brabant, Belgium, Europe


Europe » Belgium » Flemish Brabant » Leuven September 17th 2019

We left our French troubles behind and took to train north to Belgium via Lille, a town on the French-Belgian border. I had found a French ‘budget airline' of trains called Ouigo – the tickets are significantly cheaper and its €5 extra for luggage. Quite a good concept actually, it’s still a high-speed train but with no on-board bar. The next train we caught from Lille to Brussels was the Eurostar that had come from London. Once in Brussels, we took a local train to the nearby town of Leuven. Leuven is a very pretty town – a university town – on the Flemish/French language border (we learnt that from our Intrepid friend who is from Leuven). Our first day there we just walked around town to orientate ourselves and had dinner in the main square. ... read more
City hall
City hall
City hall

Europe » Belgium » Flemish Brabant » Leuven July 7th 2014

We zitten op een trapje tegenover Leuven Centraal om ons te oriënteren en een plan te maken. We besluiten eerst iets te gaan eten om vervolgens Leuven aan de zuidkant te verlaten. Het duurt niet lang voor we een subway vinden waar we langer hebben gezeten dan de bedoeling was; het zullen of de zenuwen of de twee zeer vermakelijke en druk tetterende meiden naast ons zijn geweest. '(...) net als die mensen die hun dialect willen behouden, zo ouderwets en onhandig.' Ik heb tranen met tuiten gelachen. Toen we eenmaal verder liepen bereikten we in zeer korte tijd de rand van de gemeente. We liepen een tijdje langs het spoor en onderweg heb ik mijn camelbak nog even gevuld bij een huis waar vermoedelijk drie generaties vrouwen aanwezig waren, een waarvan mij vol ongeloof de ... read more

Europe » Belgium » Flemish Brabant » Leuven July 6th 2014

Spent the last couple of days in Belgium enjoying the town of Leuven. And of course since we are in Belgium, cheering for the soccor team. ... read more
Look who we found -- Mr. Greenjeans!!

Europe » Belgium » Flemish Brabant » Leuven July 4th 2014

Day trip to Bruges. The best word to describe this city is peaceful. Tree lined canals, cobblestone streets, old homes. This city requires more than a short day to really explore it. But all we have is today so off we went. The city is famous for mussels (sadly out of season), chocolate (always in season!), beer (also always in season), and lace. Since mussels were off the list we had Flemish Stew for lunch. A delicious beef stew with a dark, rich gravy made with beer. Absolutely delicious. We took a tour of the only brewery in Bruges. It has been family owned and operated for six generations. Lots of antique equipment on sight and a beautiful vista from the rooftop. The tour was quite informative. They stressed that beer is vitally necessary and contributes ... read more
Bridge Tower

Europe » Belgium » Flemish Brabant » Leuven July 3rd 2014

Only a 15 minute train ride away is the city of Brussels. It would be a shame to be this close and not go there. So we caught the train and off we went. Eating and drinking the local delicacies is a big part of the trip. Today was a good example. We had Belgium chocolates, Frittes (Belgium french fries. Fried twice is the local way), croquettes, and Belgium beer. Oh and the city. It is famous for its town square called The Grand Place. It is that. The Town Hall dominates the square with its 300 foot tower (couldn't go up in it). These days the Town Hall hosts royal weddings, Crown Prince Philippe got married here in 1999. Besides all the wonderful buildings around the square it is also lined with restaurants and chocolate ... read more
The Grand Place
The Town Hall in the Grand Place
Town Hall

Europe » Belgium » Flemish Brabant » Leuven July 1st 2014

We have arrived in Belgium in the University town of Leuven. Leuven is called the City of Beer. A hundred years ago the city boasted no fewer than 788 different drinking establishments. It is home to the largest brewery in the country and also the smallest. It has the "longest bar in the Europe" in Oude Markt. The impressive Town Hall dates back to 1439. The 236 statues have been in the niches since 1850, which means they have survived two world wars, So we were met at the train station by a friend of the owners whose apartment we are staying in for the week. Magda walked us to our new "home" which is a very nice third floor apartment on the main street of town. The owners are at their main home in France. ... read more
Longest Bar in Europe
Town Hall

Europe » Belgium » Flemish Brabant » Leuven January 15th 2012

All of my entries thus far have only documented my shenanigans traveling around and hosting handsome visitors. I promise that I am actually in Europe for academic purposes. If for no other reason than to give myself a bit of credibility, I'll write today about what I'm actually doing at KUL. Final exams have begun and we will have completed all 5 by February first (after which I will hastily hop on a plane to spend 10 days in HB with my family!) Last week: Classification of Paralympic Athletes, Disability Studies January 12th This week: Biomechanics (wheelchair propulsion, gait analysis, aquatics and prosthetics), Physical Activity-Physical Fitness- Risk of Exercise, and Exercise Management in Chronic Disease and Disability January 17th Next week: Statistics Applied for APA on the 24th (yikes) The final week: Psychology of Sport, ... read more
Training Demo
Tennis for the Intellectually Disabled
The Spanish Head Coach

Europe » Belgium » Flemish Brabant » Leuven September 28th 2011

My old friend Benjamin Franklin once said, "A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body." I have found all of his views valid ever since I read his quote about the creation of beer being proof of God's love and desire for our happiness. The beer quote and the whole electricity thing. I mean, the man was legit. Anyway, I found food and fire for my body and moved in this past Friday 9/23. My classes began this past Monday, so I've been working on the whole "food & fire for my mind" part too. Laura and I toured a couple studios before signing our contracts to live in separate studios in the same building. Leuven is situated inside a large traffic circle. Most ... read more
From the window
Elbow grease
Birds Eye of Bathroom

Europe » Belgium » Flemish Brabant » Leuven September 21st 2011

Medical chart reads: "Female Erasmus student, age 25, has contracted ring worm, athlete's foot, lime disease, and the black plague due to lack of foot protection in public venues. Treatment: a swift slap upside the head." Why isn't there an alarm in my head that goes off when walking barefoot is inappropriate and unsanitary? What have twenty-some-odd years of beach culture done to my standards for hygiene? I have taken 3 hostel showers without shower shoes and walked through the halls to common, internet-friendly, lounges to Skype my beloved completely barefooted. Clean it up, MacDonald. On a slightly less rantish note, I found man's most amazing idea near the train station: the bread vending machine. Or, as I now call them, "breanding machines". Pop in a couple Euro, and shazam, a full loaf baked that morning ... read more
Bell Included.
Waar is Naranja?
Ain't she a beaut?

Europe » Belgium » Flemish Brabant » Leuven September 18th 2011

Uhmm...I think so? I endured the struggle and sweat necessary to lug my enormous baggage from the claim carousel in Brussels airport to make my train connection. An adorable young man from China named Hao helped me get them on the train and we spoke for the 15 minute journey. I asked for tips about finding housing, navigating the city, and communicating. He told me that learning Dutch would be moot, seeing as most bartenders know English. Excuse me, Hao. Hao dare you assume I'm a boozer!? (Did you see what I did there?) I exited the train praying for Laura's presence because I had no clue where to go, had she been M.I.A. From behind me, I heard a deep voice attempt to verify my identity. I thought "okay...either Laura is a dude, or she ... read more
Cobble Cobble
Spinner of death and Teeter logs.
Le Pain Bakery

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