Leuven Weekends

We’re doing our best to make the most of our time in Belgium. Even though we have done a fair bit of traveling, we also really enjoy our weekends here in Leuven. There is frequently something exciting going on about town. This weekend there was a marathon, but if you’ve met me, you’ll know perfectly well that I didn’t participate in that.

April was “Beer Month” in Leuven. There were 3 distinctly different beer festivals 3 consecutive weekends in April. The last one was Zythos, with over 500 local brews available to try. We biked there through landscapes I can only describe as idyllic. It was actually funny to ride there because I could just picture the rolling farmlands as a set for a movie. I wish I’d had some wine and a picnic basket, but we had to make do with the beer at the festival.

I actually stopped to take a picture of the yard around this home as we biked to the festival. I didn’t document the equally amazing house to respect their privacy, but WOW! It was set in the middle of beautiful rolling hills of farmland.

At the festival, we met some really friendly Canadians at one of the long tables and they made a few tasting suggestions for the beers. We actually ended up buying one of their suggestions to take home because we liked it so much!

Sampling with our souvenir glasses

On weekends in Leuven, we generally go to a park in Heverlee (10 minutes by bike) when it isn’t rainy. The parks here have a ton of climbing structures and cool ways for kids to practice balancing and build core strength. There’s very little paint as almost everything is made from wood, so it’s a little easier on Mom’s eyeballs, as well. We have explored 2 parks here locally, but we know of at least a couple more that warrant checking out.

This “merry-go-round” is a favorite at the park in Heverlee.

There was a street fair a couple of weeks ago. The idea was to encourage people to shop locally. The *tiny* little challenge is that all of the retail shops here close at 6:00 p.m. on weeknights. Only the restaurants and the grocery stores are open later, and even those close by 8:00 p.m. The street fair was amazing, though. They blocked off the main street for at least a kilometer. It’s the main thoroughfare for the buses, so it was a stark difference. There was even an entire block that was covered in SAND so they could make it look like a beach!

This sand was at least 6 inches deep! They brought in potted palm trees to make it feel more like the beach. The weather wasn’t overly cooperative, but I managed to snap a pic before the rain started.

All of the shops stayed open until 8:00 on Friday evening and there were a ton of stalls set up in the street to sell food and drinks, demonstrate cars, provide music, etc. There were also musicians walking down the next street over (which is always a pedestrian-only zone) that were fun to see. Laine was pulled into a dance with one group. Another group was a drum corps of all ages, only about 8 people, who were dressed as Tarzan.

The funniest part of the street fair: it was set up on Friday, sand and all. It was all cleaned up by Sunday, sand and all! I was floored. We had friends coming to town Sunday and had anticipated walking through with them, but it was completely cleaned up by the time they arrived.

The next couple of posts I have planned are about some of our travels around Belgium. Stay tuned!

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