Leuven in the morning, Brussels in the evening

Leuven Travel Blog

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Yep, those colourful pillars you see outside every train station in Belgium

I was hoping I could do both Waterloo and Leuven on the same day but had to settle for only one. I chose a University town, don't know why. The day started off as usual - got up early, had cereal and eggs for b'fast. I sure love how we have free internet in the hostel! From there, left for Leuven around 9am, it takes about 30 mins or so to get there. The railway station is really quite hip! And I love how they have those colourful columns outside the railway buildings.

I didn't even know what to do here, so I just kept walking and walking till I got to the city centre. There's really not a whole lot to see here, it's an idyllic University town. The only saving grace was the Saturday open markets going on for which I'm a sucker, and provided me ample opportunity for photos, although I do find it mildly hilarious how EVEN here, it's all about the food - waffles, pancakes, crepes, food food and food!

This was my first proper Flemish town I was visiting and it was quite interesting - I noticed that none of the Flemish folks want to speak in French although they know and understand it, and would rather reply to you in English.

Monument facing the station
This was unlike in Wallony. I went to the Tourist Information site for some ideas for walks. I was given 2 brochures, one for a nature walk and one for a Historical walk, I chose the later. I didn't really walk around much too, for some reason I found this place very very boring. The only place of remote interest was the Groot Begijnhof (The Great Beguinage) which is a UNESCO World Heritage monument, and contains about 70 houses and convents dating from as early as the 16th Century. In a kind of eerie and quaint way, this reminded me of my visit to the Cotswolds last year. It also helps that on a Saturday morning, there weren't many people, it was really beautiful and quiet. I enjoyed this moment.

But the rest of the town really doesn't do much to make things exciting.

Sint-Pieterskerk (Collegiate Church of St. Peter)
I sat on one of the roadside cafes and had chocolate milkshake, it was terrible, very dilute. All menus are in Flemish, they don't carry a French or an English one which is a huge pain. I went back along the main street to the railway station around 1pm stopping by the chain Panos to have their special veg pizza. Boy it was awful!  I really couldn't wait to get back to Bruxelles to be honest - this town was terribly DULL. 

Adrian_Liston says:
Many Flemish speak French, but it is certainly not as wide-spread as English and most Flemish that I know are much better at English than French. English is certainly the preferred second language across Belgium - see how far you get with Flemish in Walloon!
Posted on: May 14, 2009
YantiSoeparno says:
No picture on the menu? So, maybe you have to see other tables and point to one customer's meal ;D
Posted on: May 08, 2009
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Yep, those colourful pillars you s…
Yep, those colourful pillars you …
Monument facing the station
Monument facing the station
Sint-Pieterskerk (Collegiate Churc…
Sint-Pieterskerk (Collegiate Chur…
Saturday market selling fresh tuli…
Saturday market selling fresh tul…
Groot Begijnhof (The Great Beguina…
Groot Begijnhof (The Great Beguin…
Groot Begijnhof (The Great Beguina…
Groot Begijnhof (The Great Beguin…
Groot Begijnhof (The Great Beguina…
Groot Begijnhof (The Great Beguin…
Roadside cafes are quite ubiquitou…
Roadside cafes are quite ubiquito…
Yep, those Belgian style houses ag…
Yep, those Belgian style houses a…
Leuven
photo by: Chokk