Banter from Brabant

Sunday, January 21, 2007

It’s been awhile. There are a few reasons for that, namely laziness and busyness. I (Beth) am full into exam season, which means that I am studying hard and relaxing little. I guess when we come down from a time of extreme busyness, we need a lot of laziness to recover. Unfortunately, it appears that my upcoming semester will not allow for much laziness.

In any case, we are very much alive (in response to the last comment from Martha). Perhaps you heard about the interesting weather in Europe? It appears that Belgium experienced the mildest of the winds. Nonetheless, Doug had some trouble returning to Leuven from Brussels. The weather caused chaos for travelers and workers as the wind shut down train lines, preventing most from reaching their desired destinations. According to Doug, the message at the train station was indeterminate delay. After a four hour battle with the train, Doug finally arrived. Actually, he did not battle for long – he found relief in the home of a friend and fellow classmate in Brussels while he waited out the worst of it. (So don’t feel too sorry for him;)

Despite the wind (which reached max speeds of close to 65mph in Belgium, I believe), the weather has been alarmingly warm. In general, the temperature stays pretty close to 50 degrees – give or take. It appears that in the course of the next week, that will change and we’ll have some more wintry weather. I see the US has already had a fair dose of that.

As for Christmas, it was lovely. We spent some time in Paris (4 days) where we saw the Eiffel Tower, Napoleon’s Tomb, the Sacre Coeur, the Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe amongst other things.

We visited the Louvre and saw the Mona Lisa – and apparently people ONLY go there to see her. It was Christmas Eve, and we were surprised at the fact that we did not have to wait in line to enter. We wandered about the various sections filled with ancient artifacts and sculptures where it seemed that we were two of very few tourists to be visiting the museum. As soon as we hit the section with the Mona Lisa, our sense of solitude was over. All of a sudden, there were at least 500 hundred people milling about, with at least 300 packed into the room with the Mona Lisa. Given that I dislike crowds, we caught a glimpse of the painting (barely as it was difficult to see over the heads of the many in front of us) and made our exit.

Other than that, we walked around much and tried to explore as much of the city as possible in four days. It was exhausting, but magnificent. Paris is a most impressive city with much to admire.


  • Oh my gosh, it sounds like you had so much fun (Paris for Christmas!). Can't wait to hear more!

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11:09 PM  

  • Happy New Year to you both!! I'm glad as is well, though busy in Belgium. I have a blog up on here as well, if you want to check out my academic and personal you something to do inbetween studying. Take care!

    By Blogger Karen C Biggs, at 8:13 PM  

  • Hey there, when are you going to update again??

    By Blogger Rachel, at 10:18 PM  

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