Friday, September 3, 2010

Another day at 80 Schapenstraat...

The days are flying by. Tomorrow morning we leave for France—a weeklong trip to Brittany, Normandy, and Paris. Everyone seems very excited about the prospects of a trip to one of the world’s most beautiful cities. We’ve already placed our dinner orders for Sunday night, which include a few servings of escargot! Our lengthy itinerary includes visits to such Parisian sights as the Louvre, the Arc du Triumphe, Sac Recor, the Eiffel Tower, St. Michel, Notre Dame, and much more.
Not to be outdone by beautiful Paris, Leuven has provided us with one of the most striking sceneries and exciting experiences we could hope to find. An accidental nighttime visit to the City Park yielded a spectacular find. Though we only saw it in the dark it seems like a beautiful place to visit during the day. On the way home we discovered a few short cuts and got a better grasp for the layout of the entire city.
To ease our exploration of Leuven, we rented bikes at the local shop, Velo. Although the workers there were very kind in helping us each select a bike that seemed well suited to the rider, not all of the bikes were in great condition. As we rode our new bikes back to the Huis, lo and behold! My seat fell right off of my bike. It was a bit of an awkward moment, but crisis and injury were averted. Luckily I bought the insurance! So, after another trip to the bike shop (a rather difficult one considering my bike’s lack of seating arrangements) my bike was back on the Belgian cobblestone and in working order.
Later in the evening we decided to go out with some of the Belgian students who are also staying in the Nachbar Huis. Their bar of choice: Karaoke Beethoven! We were the only Americans in the bar, however all of the songs were in English—many of them U.S. pop hits. After gaining a bit of liquid courage, we were able to take the stage and lend Leuven our voices! Matt, Duke, Dan, Pete and I (all of the Loyola males on the trip) sang our hearts out as we preformed a rendition of Queen’s famous Bohemian Rhapsody—much to the audience’s pleasure! At some point or another, just about everyone sang. Unfortunately, the bar’s selection of Francis Scott Key’s works was underwhelming!!
So, after another fun night we made our way back to the Huis to get some much needed rest before we went to the City Office the next morning to get identification forms for our bank accounts. Later on that day, some women from the bank came by to set us up with our accounts and teach us how to manage our cards and savings and checking accounts. After that we met with Dr. Forni and went over our itinerary for the France trip and some history of the areas that we will be visiting.
Everything is going very quickly and after a dinner that included most of the Loyola students we’re set to stay in tonight and pack and rest for our big trip tomorrow!!

Afscheid mijn vrienden!

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