Decadent Breakfast

We were even later for breakfast this morning but when we arrived we were greeted with ‘Good Morning, would you like a glass of Champagne, it is a Belgium custom’. It would have been rude to refuse such an offer, and as luck would have it, strawberries were also available on the breakfast bar. Their tastes complemented each other perfectly. After the strawberries, I had cheese and continental breads. What a great start to the day :-)

Leuven Station

After breakfast we made our way through ‘De Langste Dag 2015′ street fair (which were told, whilst dining the previous evening, is a festival with shops displaying bargains on street stalls and  artists performing in street theatre) towards the train station to visit Brussels for the day. Buying a return ticket from the machine was quite simple and we were even recommended a cheaper option, weekend ticket for consideration.

Mannequin Pis Dressed for an Ocassion

Once in Brussels we took a few minutes to get our bearings and make our way to the Grand Place. On our way there we came across the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula so we spent some time inside. We then continued to the Grand Place to try and locate a waffle cafe that we had enjoyed on a previous visit to Brussels. During our search, we ended up by the Mannequin Pis who was dressed in a Napoleonic uniform quite fitting for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. We located the waffle outlet and found that it had changed from the quaint cafe we had found on our previous visit to a fast food (waffle) outlet. The waffles were excellent although there was a bit too much chocolate for my taste.

After lunch, we headed back to the Grand Place where we lingered to take a few photos. As we did so we could hear music and banging of drums. We thought it might be some sort of demonstration marching just outside the square. As I waited for one last photo of the entrance to the town hall without people crowding in front of it, the sound of music and drums entered the square behind me. I noticed they were re-enactors of the Napoleonic period. They proceeded to march round the edge of the square and through the town hall archway. I  suspect they may have been part of the official 200th anniversary celebrations, especially as there were a few police officers nearby moving some daft members of public out of the way of the procession.

Place Royale

After this unexpected bonus we made our way towards the Royal Palace, taking in several viewpoints along the way. These included The Albertine, The Musical Instruments Museum and the Place Royale which we initially thought was the Royal Palace. On closer inspection we found the Place Royale building was the church of Saint Jacques-sur-Coudenberg in front of which is the statue of the first king of Jerusalem setting off on the first crusade. We then located the Palace which was just around the corner. After viewing the outside of the palace we made our way back to the station through the Royal Park and, as we neared the Cathedral, I enjoyed the sound of the Cathedral bells  heralding the start of a church service.

Dino About Town

We didn’t have to wait long for our train back to Leuven. We were able to enjoy Leuven’s longest day celebrations (‘De Langste Dag 2015′) as we walked from the station to the city centre. We really enjoyed the street artist entertainment which included two strange pseudo-strippers wearing skin coloured body suits with accompanying hair; they were darting through the streets pretending to be embarrassed by their ‘nakedness’. However the stars of these shows were the fabulous dinosaur puppets strolling through the streets, feeding from the trees and bending their heads down to engage with the crowd. At one point a dinosaur head bumped against my head so I bent down to let it pass by. The dinosaur had other ideas and put its head on top of mine so that I could not move. The operator of the dinosaur head was grinning at me. At this moment Mr C’s camera decided to have a flat battery so there are no photographs of the moment.

We stopped in the square for a drink and soaked up the lively atmosphere and enjoyed a bit of banter with the proprietor  of the beer shop whilst purchasing Waterloo beer and a commemorative Waterloo chalice, before returning to the hotel to freshen up before dinner. We chose to return to a restaurant that we had previously dined in and it was just as good as the first time we ate there.

Back in the Hotel

4 Comments CherryPie on Jul 3rd 2015

4 Responses to “Leuven – Day Six”

  1. What? And you didn’t bring back some chocolates? ;)

  2. ubermouth says:

    Love that Napoleon! :)