Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Sore legs and no voice

That’s what I ended up with after a fabulous day out with Veronica and Sue on Friday, which was also my birthday. But I couldn’t have cared less. We had such a lovely time that I did’t mind suffering a little in the aftermath.

A few weeks ago Veronica, who has been reading my blog since the early days in 2009, sent me an email saying she and her friend Sue would be in Brussels for a few days during the Easter school break. We both agreed that it would be the perfect occasion to get together. We had met ‘life’ for the first time in July 2011 when I was visiting Deal and staying overnight in Charring before getting on the Eurostar to Brussels the next day. That same year, in October, Veronica and Sue visited Brussels and we got together again. Since then the invitation for me to visit them in their lovely seaside resort is still open … and I can feel that I will take them up on it soon!

Anyway, back to the present. When I learnt that they would be in Brussels this weekend, I immediately thought it would be nice to invite them to spend my birthday, April 11th, together. I had no other plans and everything fell into place beautifully. I wanted to show them something different: Leuven, home to one of the most famous universities on the Continent, an open-air museum with its Gothic town hall and Saint Peter’s church, a huge library that was bombed and burned down on two occasions – during WWI and WWII – but like a Phoenix rose from its ashes with the financial help of the US. And of course, on a lighter note, the weekly Friday open-air market.

The skyline of Leuven, with on the right, 

the renaissance St. Peter's church.
The two spires in the middle are those of the townhall.
The spire on the left is that of st. Michael's church.

And there is so much more. I think you need at least two days to see it all and enjoy some of Leuven’s excellent gastronomy. So, it wasn’t too difficult to come with a day’s program, including cultural visits, some gastronomy, a little shopping and …. Of course … some beer tasting. Because, after all, Leuven is the Beer Capital of the World.

Although I went to school in Leuven from 1969 to 1975, I thought it safer to do some research before taking my friends there. My good friend Mr. Google supplied me with all the information I needed. So when my ‘two English ladies’ arrived by taxi at my apartment on Friday morning, I was ready for them …

(More to come)


VirginiaC said...

This birthday with your friends in Leuven sounds like fun...can't wait for your next post.

chm said...

It's not the birthday aftermath of which I wished you many happy returns!

Can't wait to have more insight on the treasures of Leuven [Louvain].

Nadege said...

It seems like you all had a wonderful time! (I am a taurus, April 25th).

The Beaver said...

I can understand about the legs but the voice :-)

unless you girls had so much fun , talking , laughing and telling each other stories

Louise said...

Martine, please may I offer belated birthday new grandmother duties have been keeping me away from my usual computer time! I am glad you were able to enjoy the day with friends...I look forward to reading your next post. Best wishes, Louise

ladybird said...

Virginia, I won't keep you in suspense too long :) A whole series of new posts coming up!

Chm, I know ... but I quickly got over it. I didn't take many photos - we were to busy chatting. But I still have some of last year's visit with B a JL. I'll use those to illustrate what we saw this time.

Nadege, We had! I'll be polite and won't ask you the year (lol)!

TB, You're right ... we did talk and laugh a lot ... except in St. Peter's church, where we whispered.

Louise, Thank you Louise! Congratulations on your new status. I bet you make a great grandmother.