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Archive for May, 2009

in maastricht

On our second day in Belgium, A planned a trip for us to the city of Maastricht. Maastricht is situated in the southerly tip of the Netherlands, which meant it was an easy trip from Leuven. We hopped on a train in Leuven, and in the blink of an eye found ourselves in another country. Out of the train station in Maastricht, it was not long before we sighted the Belgian waffle shops scattering the streets. Lured by its pink decor and bright lights, J settled on a freshly prepared waffle from Pinky. Lightly dusted with powdered sugar, it was crisp, chewy, and hot. J’s non-stop grinning in delight of his first Belgian waffle made it difficult for him to take big mouthfuls of waffle.

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We also happened upon a beautiful church that had been converted into a bookstore. I like how they made very minimal adjustments to the church and lined the bookshelves in the center in order to preserve the church in its original form.

old church - new bookstore

In the market, everything from fruits and vegetables, dutch clogs, and yards of fabric were being sold.

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We weaved around some brightly-hued statues,

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climbed up the tall tower of the Gothic Sint Janskerk for an amazing panoramic view of the city,

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and surveyed the interior of the thousand-year-old Sint Servaas Basiliek.

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After a lunch of sandwiches, dutch sausages and Belgian fries, we continued towards the old city fortifications. We strolled through a quiet and cheery public park…

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where we saw roosters, goats, deer, ducks, geese (I think one of the goats posed for me).

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poser

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This is the Helpoort (translation: hell’s gateway), the oldest standing town gate in the Netherlands. It was built in the thirteenth century.

helpoort

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Within the walls of the Helpoort, a little boy was leaping.
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We crossed the Sint Servaas bridge on the way back to the train station, where we would catch a train to Brussels and meet L for dinner.

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in leuven

In Leuven, we met up and stayed with our dear friends A & L. Our first afternoon there, A took us around to see the beautiful, quaint city of Leuven.

We saw many delightful statues that were gifts to the city from the Men of the Year.

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This bright patch of over-ripe tulips on the university campus made me very happy.

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It was a perfect day for wandering the peaceful streets of Leuven.

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We gazed lovingly at the town hall for awhile.

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At a cafe across from the town hall, we dipped and swirled around lollipops of belgian chocolate in steamed milk for some wonderful hot chocolate.

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We sipped, sat, and chatted as the sun set on the main market square.

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