Leuven 2018

I am back in Leuven for a few days whilst Jon attends the 2nd European Congress of Qualitative inquiry.

Last year I had to buy gloves with fingers because it was sooooo cold. I checked the outlook for the next few days in Belgium and it said simillar to Scotland. I refused to believe it was colder, I have been wearing fingerless gloves at home …… and I forgot my hat!!! New gloves and hat made.

We are staying in hotel Naamestraat this year because Jon is running a workshop at the conference. We are much more in the centre of town – it’s 5mins walk to the ‘Groot Mark’ rather than 20.

The view from the window is lots of modern architecture and part of an old church yard – which I think belongs to St Joesph’s church.

Trying to find the exact location of the Crypt I stumbled upon a ‘ Klein Stadspark’ which I think must mean small park. There were lots of interesting sculptures to attract wildlife and bird hides for children made of willow

There was also a very pollarded tree that caught my eye because it was so distorted and knobbly . It made a striking silhouette

I visited the tourist board to collect maps and information about museums and galleries. I picked up a leaflet about an art installation in a park where 20 artists had been asked to decorate electrical boxes. The information told me that the installation was in Stadspark which means – city park. It took me about 20mins on Google with Maps to work out which park. Initially I thought it was a 30min drive away. However the boxes are situated at ‘ Saint Donatuspark’. Which is only 5 mins from the hotel.

The paintings have been in the park for 3 years. Some are a bit small and covered in mud but I was pleased that I made the effort.

The first box has a poster to give you a bit more information about each artist.

There are two larger images painted on walls

The boxes are attached to brick walls around the park. An interesting array of the backs of houses can be seen over the walls. One artist painted a series of images on very small boxes. Some don’t exist any more so I haven’t got the whole set

Leuven Part 3 

Feb 11th 

http://mokcoffee.be/

Jon’s conference has finished so our exploits today had a different focus. I had noticed a coffee roastery on Diestestraat. It was freezing again so a hot drink was very welcome. 


The interior was very spartan with pretty floor tiles. I think they might be art nouveau 


Jon’s coffee was a 7/10 , my oat milk hot choc was lovely 

Visiting Leuven, Belgium

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