Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Belgium: Leuven

Leuven was a city I had not initially planned on visiting. In fact, I had not thought much of it at all. Having left my Monday clear for a day of spontaneity I had enlisted the help of those of you who follow me on Instagram to help me decide where to go and that's when Leuven was suggested to me. I had already been in Brussels, Ghent and Bruges and contemplating Antwerp and at one point Amsterdam buuut I was quickly running out of money so needed somewhere closer and there was a bus from Brussels to Leuven, no brainer really.

Having missed the bus for it the previous day, I decided to leave it till the Monday and spent the Sunday chilling in bed and recovering from the previous days excitements. Traveling is bloody darn tiring people. All those walking tours and buses and trains, like maaaaan. Definitely need to throw in a chill day especially since it was a week long trip. I also enjoyed my first kebab from this Turkish take away which was down the road from my hostel. The thing was bleeding massive and so delicious. Also only €4.50 so it was practically a blessing. I'm not ashamed to say I couldn't finish it that night and saved some for the morning after, sue me :P

I didn't do too much in Leuven because I didn't stay very long. I arrived off the bus in the early hours, about 10 am to find the city still very much asleep. As a student hub I really wasn't expecting it but there it was, peaceful and still. Shops were either closed with the days's groceries emptied outside its doorsteps or in the process of opening. After a relaxed walk exploring the surroundings I found myself settling in a lovely cafe for a nice cup of hot chocolate.

The greatest thing about visiting a student city definitely has to be 1) the student discounts that are available, there's actually so many and 2) all the different places to eat. Also plenty. My favorite was the soup bars that served big delicious bowls of soup and bread so cheaply. €6 if I recall correctly that served for a filling lunch on a cold day like that Monday.

 The sun peaked out behind the clouds unto the huge square in the middle lined on each side with benches. Sitting on one of these benches I alternated between reading my book and watching people  come and go.

Before heading back to Brussels, I visited the University Library & Bell Tower. Leuven itself had a lot to offer from the events that were available throughout the time I was there. Sadly the day I was there was not one with much to do. Note to self, don't go to Leuven on a Monday. I didn't have enough money left to visit the M Museum and there were no markets on that day. I also got lost trying to find the Botanical Gardens and it was all very messy but I was happy to leave having visited at least one place. It was only €2 for a talking tour of the Library and Tower which was quite lovely.

My last day in Belgium was the Tuesday and was spent entirely withing Brussels airport. I had ran out of money and only having British Pounds on me from my earlier visit to Birmingham, the airport was the only place I could really spend it. I didn't mind so much because it rained the entire day and looked pretty miserable outside, therefore sitting at the airport watching Suicide Squad, eating croissants and jellies didn't seem too bad. However I was definitely happy to return to Dublin where I could at least be broke in my own bed.

And that was my last adventure in Belgium. It was a lovely end to the trip and I certainly learned an awful lot about myself on it ( post to follow so keep an eye out!). 

Have you ever been to Leuven? What did you think of it? Or are currently in somewhere other than your hometown or maybe you're planning on going away? Let me know below in the comments, maybe you could inspire my next trip.

Till next time my pretties xxx

3 comments so far

  1. Leuven looks so lovely! I hadn't heard of it before, I don't think! The university looks so pretty. Belgium was already on my list, but after your posts it's definitely climbed higher ;)

    Traveling is exhausting, isn't it? Surprisingly, so. But, at the same time, you're walking around places you've never been, trying to figure out where you are and where you're trying to get to. It makes sense, but it's always a surprise :P

    Erin | Explore, Refresh

  2. Gorgeous! I especially love the library pics! :)

  3. I didn't get to Leuven during my own Belgium trip but my friend visited when I'd gone home! Maybe next time..not on a Monday!


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