Tuesday 6th Feb We are staying in Leuven, Belgium for a few days. Jon booked an Airbnb apartment. The layout and proportions of which are almost the same as where we stayed in New York about 18 months ago. I suppose there are limited alternatives for designs of studio flats. This one is a bit unnerving when they have a shower upstairs, it sounds like it is pouring with rain inside our room.
At the train station last night all the announcements were in English, French and Flemish, which was interesting in terms of the length of time it took to make announcements.
After visiting France regularly over the years I was expecting to be able to understand menus and road signs , but we are in the old Flemish capital so everything appears to be in Dutch which I recognise but don’t really understand .
According to Wikipedia Flemish ‘is one of the three national languages of Belgium, together with French and German, and is the only official language of the Flemish Region. The various Dutch dialects spoken in Belgium contain a number of lexical and a few grammatical features which distinguish them from the standard Dutch’ .
When we got off the train last night and into a taxi the architecture felt familiar, my birth Father lived in Holland for 15 years. He moved around a lot and stayed in a variety of houses. One was a tall maisonette in Den Haag. These were the buildings that I recognised
Last night when we ate out, everybody spoke English and they had English translated menus…..
Wednesday 7th Feb
I have braved the murk and the drizzle walking in an almost straight line from the house back to the station to get a Starbucks and what I hoped was free wifi –
The shops in the centre are very chain store biased – but I saw some pretty smaller house ones
And lots of half mandala drain covers – I seem to have managed to take 9 different designs –
Bikes and pedestrians appear to have the same rights on the paved areas, I haven’t managed to kill any one yet lol
Also please note if you are visiting Leuven and reading this blog , the main museum isn’t open on Wednesdays – it feels a bit like visiting Japan for one day and all the museums and art galleries being shut that day of the week – well at least I am here another few days lol.
Archtecural details that caught my eye today
The town hall- the building of which began in 1439
A window from St Peter’s Church
Demolition showing tiles and wall paper from the old rooms