One of our profs here, Philippe, is from this town in the southern half of Belgium called Namur. Namur's about 2 train stops from Ottignies, the "big" gare (train station) 6 minutes from Louvain-la-Neuve. Pretty much if you want to go anywhere from Louvain-la-Neuve, you hop a train to Ottignies (it's probably a 6 minute ride) and switch at the station there. It's slightly smaller than North Charleston, and has a river and a citadel. As a treat, Philippe took us to his hometown and showed us around, because he's such an awesome guy! Prepare yourself for a bajillion pictures.
This is a part of the Citadel. I have no idea which part exactly it is, but it's part of it, hahaha. We had to climb a bajillion steps up a mountain to get there, so by the time we arrived at the top I was way too out of breath to pay attention to those kinds of things.
The city of Namur, as seen from on the Citadel. Chouette, isn't it? (that's French for "cool")
We also visited the citadel perfumerie. Why is there a perfumerie in a citadel, you ask? I'll tell you. The guy who started the perfumerie needed a place to keep his fragrances cold while they were in production. It gets really expensive to rent out industrial freezers, so why not just buy a space in the side of a mountain that's pretty much the equivalent of a wine cellar? Smart guy. That's Mike and Eliana, by the way. It looks like a warm, gorgeous day outside, but it was actually a freezing gorgeous day.
Nick, Karen and I had lunch at a little café in the town square while everyone else was lame and went to Pizza Hut. This is Karen here with her orvalette, a traditional Belgian dish. Orvalette is pretty much the same thing as tartiflette (a traditional French dish with potatoes and cheesy sauce), only they also put in BEER GRAVY. Needless to say, I ended up eating half of Karen's plate.
This is St. Aubin's Cathedral, a giant baroque church that WE DIDN'T GET TO GO IN. Do you know how sad my heart was? Y'all know how I love churches.
And here is Nick, sitting in the King of Fools' throne. Karen explained to us the deal about the king of fools: they crown a new one every year at some festival, and that's his throne. On the back of the seat of the king of fools is a statue of this guy Nicolas Bosret. Coincidence? I think not.
Namur is cool. It's quiet, it's cozy, it's got good food. What's not to love?