In youth we are healthy and full of energy. Time and money permitting, there’s no better time to explore and go on outdoor adventures - and your wardrobe should not be full of useless cheap crap from mass market clothing retailers.
Yes, I owe you an apology from my hypocritical self because I often fall victim to the latest seasonal fashion trends. In fact, since my early teens, I’ve completely overhauled my wardrobe twice. Although I’m not about to attempt such a costly feat again, I’ve been upgrading it by investing in more outdoor gear recently.
Why did I ever buy that leather jacket and pea coat? The combined cash could have funded an immensely more practical GORE-TEX hard shell…
Some tasty cultural culinary exchange for dinner.
I should learn a Latin American dance…
Reflections on my first trip to Spain and Gibraltar coming soon!
From now on I will refer to lasagnas as ‘pasta cakes’. Thanks 10 Guy.
Monkeying around in class? Can’t concentrate without my bananas. (at Gebouw G)
Denmark and Belgium side by side on my wall at last. Experiences of a lifetime…
No-class Thursdays this semester have become our official Belgium exploration day trips.
Feb 21, 2013: Spa, Belgium
We packed our towels and swim gear for this relaxing excursion. The little town of Spa is just over an hour by car away and is famous for it’s cold mineral springs. For just €20 you can treat yourself to three hours in a spa centre with indoor and outdoor jacuzzi pools, saunas, steam rooms, and more. The outdoor section of the spa experience was by far the most thrilling; the outside air temperature was freezing (even snowing at one point) and so jumping in and out of the bubbly warm spa waters was very gratifying. I was half expecting natural hot springs but they heat the water there. Massages are expensive option extras that we skipped. Overall though, those hours of relaxation and water fun was worth the price. But thanks to my inner child I would choose a water park over spa any day. The whole time I wished for waters slides. By sunset we were totally de-stressed and ready for home. The next trip there will hopefully include a walk around Spa itself.
Feb 28, 2013: Oostende & Blankenberge
During the winter, the Belgian coast is somewhat of a tundra. Deceived by the weather forecasts, we set out for Oostende believing that there would be a few hours sunshine and warm breeze only to be buffeted by icy sea winds. Nonetheless, the coastal cities still managed to retain their charm as coastal communities tend to do. We dedicated most our time strolling along the beach and exploring the streets. The inter-city tram line from Oostende to Blankenberge is cheap and efficient but sadly absent views of the sea despite being dubbed the “coastal tram”. I kept delaying my fresh seafood snack/stew from the stalls by the harbour and in the end I didn’t get a chance to try them. I guess I’ll have to return in the summer with my shades and wearing flip flops.
Mar 7, 2013: Waterloo, Louvain-la-Neuve & Namur
Feeling a little more adventurous this week, we decided to visit three locations in one day hitting up only the highlights. The first stop was Waterloo, which was a big deal for this University of Waterloo alumus. Aside from the battle’s (Napoleon’s final loss) huge historical impact on European geopolitics, sentimentally for me, I felt like I was reconnecting with my long-lost roots (and almost went overboard in the souvenir shop). The educational in-house film even mentioned Waterloo, Ontario as a city named in honour of the battle and an inexplicable pride swept over me.
The planned city of Louvain-la-Neuve a.k.a LLN (Leuven’s evil twin) was a bizarre visit in a sense that the whole place seemed like a Sim City simulation. LLN is famous for the Hergé Museum (Tin Tin Museum) but apart from that it seemed to be a pretty ordinary university town and bland compared to Leuven.
As evening approached, we sped for Namur and made it just in time to witness the panoramic views of the city on top of the citadel. Our stop was too short; there was barely enough time to appreciate the contrast in Dutch and French architecture. Next time in Namur I would fancy a stroll by the Meuse River.
142 years apart but we meet at last.
Clouded reflections on top of #Namur. (at Citadelle - Point De Vue)
I’m home! #uwaterloo
Typical dinner since I moved here.