We woke up last Saturday morning with no plans, which is unusual. So we picked a place we hadn’t been yet and hopped on the train.
Leuven (in Flemish) or Louvain (in French) is a very fun city. How can you not be when you are home to a huge university AND Stella Artois? Actually, let’s give it the credit it deserves. Catholic University Leuven is the largest and oldest university in Belgium and Anheuser-Busch Inbev is the world’s largest brewery group. What? You thought Anheuser-Busch was American? Not anymore.
Anyway, Leuven has the air of a true college city. Restaurants of every kind, art studios, book stores, street art including quite a bit of yarn-bombing, and an enormous university library with a history all it’s own.
As our trip to Leuven was very last minute, we didn’t realize that we had decided to visit during some sort of city wide sidewalk sale/festival. We walked out of the train station and stumbled into a brocante/braderie, then walked toward the Grote Markt where we found crafty stalls and a tai kwon do demonstration. We choose a nice outdoor table at lunchtime and were entertained immensely by passing street artists in costumes and, my absolute favorite, a parade of geese marching along to a drum and whistle.
We found geocaches! We passed by two weddings! We wandered through the Grande Beguinage checking off yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site (Belgium is full of them)!
Leuven, you have joined Ghent as one of my favorite Belgian cities. We will be back.