Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sat 4 Sept - Leuven/Louvain

Took a trip to the Flemish university city of Leuven today. A very vibrant and lovely place it is too. Beautiful squares, endless array of restaurants and trendy looking caf├ęs and bars. And a general sense of orderliness and elegance. Something I always find when visiting Flanders. God, I've said it before and I'll continue to say it, it really does always feel like being in another country. As far as I'm concerned, it virtually is.

I know it's very hard to compare the two because Wallonia is so much poorer, but not everything is about money. It's an attitude, a culture. Why, for example, is there is so much less dog crap in the north (to return to a favourite topic of mine!)? The choice of shops is also far more impressive. It's like going from the developing to the developed world. I know that probably sounds harsh, but if you can't immediately spot the glaring differences between the two regions in Belgium, you're either blind, not particularly perceptive or just being stubborn. Or probably a Walloon politician.

Had a terrific and rather filling lunch of Coq au van, frites, champers and beer. Felt uncomfortably stuffed for the rest of the day. But, the food was so good I had to eat the lot. A nice, easy day trip, which can be reached in 90mins direct on the train from Mons.

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