The Netherlands: Dancing houses & Bicycles

Out first tour plan was to visit cities in Belgium.So the second tour plan: visiting the other European cities.My mother and I booked trains and hotels, and first we went Amsterdam. What surprised us was the speed of bicycles.People there pedal so fast as they compete in the race.We felt the danger for several times just by walking down the street. Another thing surprised us was “Dancing Houses”.Many houses tilted because of the subsidence of ground.They looked like coming crashing down toward us. On the second day in the morning, we went to eat the pancake at The Pancake Bakery.The texture was more “mochi-mochi (chewy and fluffy) than crepes. After…

Belgium: Old Capital Bruges

Bruges is about 1 hour from Leuven by train without transfer.You can get to the city center in 10 minutes from the station.My mother and I joined the canal cruise right after we arrived there. There were many swans resting near the Flemish Béguinages.We were surprised how big they were. We also found a huge art with a height of 12 meters.It was built with approximately 5 tons of plastic trash from the Pacific Ocean in order to generate the attention among marine conservation.The art was ironically beautiful, even though it was made from the trash. Bruges, which has a medieval townscape, seemed a little bit like Kyoto to us.Although…

Belgium: Carriage Sightseeing in Ghent

We visited Ghent with a brother of my chéri from Brussels.Ghent is about 30 minutes away from Brussels or Leuven by train.This time we drove there and took like an hour because of the traffic jam. Ghent is a third biggest city in Belgium, following Brussels and Antwerp.It is quite large if you wander around this beautiful old city on foot.The day we visited was extremely hot, so we took a guide tour by carriage. We had a young coachman and a horse called George.George the horse seemed smart to remember the way to go even without the instruction.After the ride, we thanked him for his work.And then suddenly George…

Belgium: Montagne de Bueren in Liège

Liège is about 40 minutes from Leuven by train.I went there for sightseeing with my mother while my chèri was working.To go to the center of Liège, change the train at Liège-Guillemins, and get off at Liège-Palais.It was first time for us to use the train in Belgium but quite easy! After arriving to Liège-Palais afternoon, we went to Place du Marché to look for lunch.We filled up ourselves with pasta and wine at the Italian restaurant Il Calpacio and headed to Montagne de Bueren. Montagne de Buerren was built in 1875, having 373 stairs to go up the mountain.It was a great weather…or too good.We regretted that we had…

Belgium: Life in Leuven

Leuven is only 30 minute away from Brussels both by car and by train.We stayed there about three weeks in this summer.It is a famous “univercity” in Belgium, but we were lucky to have been there while the summer break. Leuven was a safe and nice-sized city, especially for my mother to walk around.We went on a day trip but always came back to Leuven for dinner.Our favourite restaurants are the Italian ZOff and the ethnic restaurant Kalypta.We also found a clothing store, Profiel, mainly dealing with Belgian high brands. We were having good days in Leuven until the final week of stay.It happened after my mother went back to…