The reason there’s a naked boy peeing in Belgium. It’s because his pants were completely charmed off. It’s a real problem here all the people walking around pantless. But a problem that I’m willing to deal with as I took a 3-day weekend to Leuven and Brussels in Belgium. One of the Europeans I’m traveling with in Remote Year, Brecht, wanted to introduce his traveling family for the year to his family back home. I visited Brussels like 9 years ago and loved the charm it had. And when I returned the charm was still there like it had been waiting all this time to make love to my eyeballs again.
TRAIN TO LEUVEN: I took one of those super fast cheetah on steroids trains. 2 hours from London in the blink of an eye and a nice nap. And when I was booking my train trip the business class to Belgium was actually the same price as standard class. So I went business class. Since I’m an extremely dapper dresser (just jeans and a T-shirt) the ticket checkers questioned my seat twice thinking that I belonged in another class, I guess they thought I was Royalty class instead of Business. Simple mistake that many people make it. They fed me and gave me wine. And wanted to make sure I was comfortable the whole time. Made me consider paying 10 euros extra to take business back because I’m fancy and stuff. But I’m going cheap this year and trying to stretch my money so I held back on luxury on the return. Bob and Mary joined me on this choo choo journey.
LEUVEN: Leuven is a charming city. I loved the cobblestone streets and picturesque houses. I spent the day walking the city and writing in cafes. It’s a dream here.
STELLA BREWERY TOUR: For Starters this tour starts with vests. Bright neon vests that make people looks super hot. And its good preparation because they will then take you to a bunch of hot ass rooms and explain how beer is made and it’s really boring and hot. Prepare to sweat and glisten all over your body. All I’m thinking is get me to the end of this damn tour so I can drink beer. I did learn a couple cool historical things. Stella was originally called Horn till Artois bought it but he kept the horn in the logo. Stella which means star was originally a Christmas beer. But people loved it so much that they continued it and it ended up being the flagship beer. So that is all the interesting shit so you don’t have to go on a sauna tour.
However the tour ended perfectly with all you can drink beer. We were also taught how to do the perfect pour and they brought out cheese and meat plates for us to enjoy with our beer. The tour wasn’t free so don’t think we were in lala land with free booze.
TWO FAMILIES COME TOGETHER: Brecht organized a BBQ where he brought his Remote Year family and his family and friends in Leuven. His friends and family were hilarious. Brecht even gave a speech.
BRUSSELS: On the last day we took a train to Brussels. We did a walking tour with a tour guide that looks like Sideshow Bob from the Simpsons. This guy was an eccentric to the max and all of us were extremely hung over from the night before. We saw some great sites like churches, statues, and one of the oldest bars in Brussels. And enjoyed some pieces of Street art while taking the tour.
PEEING BOY…..AND GIRL: We saw the famous Peeing Boy. He’s a lot smaller than I imagined, that’s not a dick joke either. The statue is smaller, get your head out of the gutter. Apparently a prince peed in public back in the day and the commoners were so impressed that a prince pees just like them. So the Peeing boy statue was erected.
Here’s something I didn’t know existed. There’s a peeing girl too. You have to go down an alley way back and it’s kinda hidden but she’s there peeing away. She has no shame.
FOOD AND BEER: Belgium is known for their Beers. When I visited 9 years ago I think I sampled every beer they had form Duvel, Trappist Monk, Chimay, La Chouffe, Stella, Leffe, St. Bernadus, Delirium to Hoegarden. Probably some of your favorite beers are from here or beers you haven’t fallen in love with yet. I love Delerium, Hoegarden and Chimay. This time I just stuck to simple lagers like Stella which I kinda regret as I’m writing this.
For food they are known for their Moules (Mussels) and Frites (fries). Unfortunately the mussels I had were just plain average and underwhelming. Their Fries are served in a cone here and they put a variety of sauces on it from mayo, ketchup, curry sauce and more. And you eat it with a little baby fork because fries in a cone is fancy. Waffles are a dessert and are topped with a variety of things from Nutella, ice cream, fruit and more. They are also known for chocolate but I’m not a chocolate dude, that’s more for the ladies.
OVERALL: Going to Belgium and getting to see it from a local’s eyes and meeting all his friends and family is a great experience. He probably could have lived in Idaho and I would have enjoyed it. But thank god it was in a city that charmed the pants off of me. Also apologies for putting an image of me pantless in your head.