One advantage of having a husband who does business travels as part of his work is to have a chance to tag along with him. Last Thursday morning, I suddenly received a call from him informing me that he has to drive to Belgium the afternoon of that same day. I asked if we could come since Friday will be the last day of the kids before they go for Christmas break. Soon I was packing clothes for our supposed to be an overnight stay.
The trip to Belgium was a bit tiring for me. We traveled for 5 and a half hours before we reached Leuven, where hubby chose to book a hotel. We passed through Netherlands which is just an hour or so away from Belgium. Funny, during this travel I thought of a very nice domain name for a travel blog. But upon checking in GoDaddy, it’s not available anymore. Anyway, back to our trip… I was just glad I get the chance again to cross another border. Really nice to have an opportunity to go to other countries just by car. No hassles in the imigration and everything. Unfortunately I didn’t get to have a photo of me standing beside the sign just like what I did when I crossed Austria. It was already late at night when we arrived in Leuven and the planned overnight stay became a two-nights as we decided to stay longer so we can still explore the place a little more.
It seemed Friday is a market day for the city of Leuven. As I went out with the kids that morning while hubby was already in the office of their client, the streets were full of stalls selling almost all kinds of food, clothes, leather goods, home items, etc. I looked through some clothes and leather items but I found them expensive considering they were sold on the streets.
While strolling, a tall structure with a very unique architectural design caught my eyes. While taking picture of the top of it, a stranger talked to me and informed me that it is the Town Hall.
The Twon Hall is of late-Gothic style architcture. Looking at it closely, you will see around it statues of different people representing prominent scholar, artist or noble from the city’s rich history.
Opposite of the Town Hall is the St. Peter’s Church (Sint-Pieterskerk), which is the oldest Catholic Church in Leuven. When I first tried to enter I was wondering how could I open the door. I was surprised when it suddenly went ajar only to find out it has motion sensors. Hehe… A church door with motion sensors, so modern. 🙂 A big art work caught my eyes as I came in.
This puplit was made by Jacques Berger in 1742 for the Premonstratensian abbey in Ninove. It was bought by the board of St. Peter’s Church in 1807. Its front shows the fall of St. Norbert who founded the Premonstratensian order. The back originally represented St. Augustine but when the pulpit arrived, a cock and a key were added, thus converting the figure into St. Peter.
Since Leuven is the home of the oldest Catholic Univeristy in the world, most of its citizens are students. Main mode of transporation is bicycle and you will see most if not all the students use it to go to their classes.
You will find a parking lot for bicycles under the bus station and parking is for free.
Late in the afternoon, the kids opted to stay in the hotel so hubby and I took the chance to wander around the center to see the city at night.
The lights that surrounded the Town Hall made it more attractive and the giant christmas tree in front added beauty to the night.
We also went to the city’s Christmas night market and checked if we could buy some stuff. Sroes feautre some nice products but we find them expensive. Hehe…
I found these decors really cute. You can place candles inside for the ones on the right. Honestly, I can’t remember what they are made of. Some also represent actual buildings and houses there. 😛
Our night ended trying out what Belgium is famous for, the Belgian waffle. It was really good but my daughter, who loves waffles by the way, didn’t like it. I wonder why…
And of course, who would miss buying authentic Belgian chocolates when you’re in Belgium?
I would have wanted to go to other places the following day but we needed to go back since hubby must return the car the office rented for him by 3pm.