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Reports

Tuesday, 15 May 2001
Leuven --> Tervuren (B)

Stayed in Tervuren, 30 degrees Celsius in the sun and my hosting family took me out in the local park and we had some nice dinner!
This morning I was awaken by Elisabeth, while Wouter had already departed to his work at the hospital.

After breakfast I packed my back again and she gave me two rolls of bread with me, including a 0,5 liter can of beer - for on the road. It's a strange experience by the way, if people ask me at breakfast what I would like to drink: coffee, tea, milk or beer? Welcome in Belgium!

I left the house around 10 am and walked through the center of Leuven. The centre of the city is built as a wide circle, surrounded by a main road. En in this centre every street is named after the direction it's heading to, so for today I had to find the Tervurenstraat to get my first hitch in Belgium.

And it didn't even take a long time. The sun was shining, but it wasn't too hot - yet. The guy who gave me a hitch lived in Tervuren himself and dropped me off at the right address at the front door.

Of course I was much too early, nobody was home at around noon. So I took a little walk through this villa park and stumbled on to a great view on agricultural fields, as far as my eyes could see. In the high grass I dropped my bag and settled myself in front of a corn field to have a nice sun bath for a while. And man - I was burned red later today!

At around 2 o'clock in the afternoon I made a phonecall to my guesthouse for today and the right person just came home from college.

I stay at the Huisman's House, where grandparents Johan and Henny live. They are originally Dutch, but moved to Belgium over 26 years ago. A few years ago Johan sold his own company and now studies English, something he had never ever done before. I give him great compliments for studying in the 4th year of the University at the age of 55!

The Gift from Wouter and Elisabeth was box with the first chapter of a course for Painting and it included a bottle of French red wine. Johan said he'd always wanted to start some nice painting!

To show me this little and also historical village, we drove to the center of Tervuren, where the so-called Africa Museum is located. This museum was the former Royal Palace of King Leopold I, who had the African Congo as his private property since it's discovery. Later he gave it to the state of Belgium, with all the following problems...

The palace is now a museum, showing everything this Leopold has ever taken from Congo to Belgium.

We took a walk into the palace garden, which still is a Royal Park of Belgium and it is GIGANTIC! In the little centre of Tervuren we had some coffee and cappucino before we got back to the car. A few minutes later it started to rain pretty hard.

At night Johan proved that he succesfully finished his cooking course and prepared a nice popeye-dinner for us. Afterwards he had to study for his English exam next Monday and Hennie went to bed early, which gave me all the time to work up my reports and start a search for my lost mobile phone...

:-(