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Cube Hostel in Leuven near the bars!

Posted at:21 August, 2015 in Ambassador Blog

Aug 15 (cont’d)

I tried to sleep on the bus from Lille France to Brussels Belgium….

…Then from Brussels, I had to figure out how to get to Leuven.  Public transportation according to Google was going to take 90 minutes to travel the distance it said that a car would do it in 30 minutes.  I found the train station, and what felt like a deal!  Trains are usually expensive, but it was only €5.30 to catch the train that runs about every ten minutes from Brussels to Leuven.  And, it was only a 30 minute ride.  Awesome!

It was pouring rain when I arrived in Leuven, so I waited a half an hour in the train station for it to stop but it did not seem to be changing.  So I just went out to trudge through it for 15 minutes to get to the Cube Hostel, the Famous Hostel in Leuven near the bars!  As I came through the door I was greeted by a hostel that is well thought out, smart, and creative.  It is a cross between your grandmother’s house, a library and an artist’s home.  The front desk is a stack of suitcases.  There are retro couches and chairs from the 1970’s.  The wallpaper is 1920’s era portraits of animals dressed in human clothing.  There is a cozy cinema downstairs with theatre chairs and bean-bag chairs to lounge on.  This is a cool hostel….

Cube Hostel kitchen. Check out the world map!

Cube Hostel kitchen. Check out the world map!

Cinema: seats and bean-bag chairs.

Cinema: seats and bean-bag chairs.

The City Hall of Leuven might be the most remarkable building I have ever seen in my life.  It is an incredible structure dating back to 1439, but somewhere around 1850, a French writer named Victor Hugo came up with the idea of decorating the empty niches with 236 statues of the people of importance from the day, as well as some patron saints.  The result is one of the most beautiful architectural creations you may every lay your eyes on in your life.

It is the first time I can remember being in a hostel in the rain, and it was nice to sit in a common area full of people playing board games, hiding from the lousy weather.  It makes people bond and people meet who would probably just give a nod in acknowledgement under normal circumstances.  When the weather broke, the hostel emptied and everyone dispersed into the pretty city.

There was a music festival taking place in the town.  When I tried to talk my way in as a journalist at the ticket office, there was only one hour of the festival remaining and they were directing me to the main office to plead my case.  I am sure I could have make it happen, but by the time I would have pulled it off there would have only been about 30 minutes of the festival left.

So, I found a quick snack and made my way back to the Cube Hostel in Leuven near the bars to my dorm.

There are 236 stature on this work architectural art.

There are 236 stature on this work architectural art.

Aug 16

Breakfast at the Cube Hostel runs from 08:00 to 11:00.  The hostel provides a fancy voucher that will make you feel important, and there you can have cereal or toast, or, you can take a chance on making your own crepe.  I tried to tackle crepe making.  It was a disaster and how badly it turned out seemed to be the highlight of the morning for three different people.  It was bunched up and had holes in the middle.  I told everyone that I find it hard to be on the road without my mother….

Not a visit to the Stella Artois Factory!

I went for a walk around the city and visited the Stella Artois factory.  You can smell the baked barley in the air as you get close.  However, on Sunday it is closed, so I visited the Botanical Gardens.  If you go there and see the pond, and the fish see you, they will follow you around.  They are like stray fish-dogs, possibly just looking for a friend.  The Botanical Gardens are beautiful.

Stray fish pals.

Stray fish pals.

There are 37 different bars in a horse-shoe on Oude Markt, and in front of every bar is a terrace where people are lounging and drinking.  Leuven is a university city and you can find party bars, time themed bars, dancing on tables bars, cowboy bars, reggae bars, sports bars, and rock bars… it is all on Oude Markt. 

We were a crew of 8 different nationalities together, and we sampled different kinds of beer (each beer costs between €3-4) and tried different bars until 03:00.  One of the guys in our crew tried something specific and told me, “I think this is the best beer I have ever tried in my life!”  Belgians have a gift for making barley-cocktails.

The hostel has a really nice kitchen, so I decided cook dinner for the first time on this trip. Well, ‘cook’ might be a bit of an exaggeration because all I did was make Korean noodles from a package, but someone had to boil the water, and that someone was me!  I boiled it with precision, and even remembered to put a lid on top of the pot. You can socialize in the hostel bar, but the kitchen is probably the best place to make friends.

Hostel in Leuven near the bars!

By nightfall I had assembled a crew of eight and we went on our own little pub-crawl of Oude Markt, which is the longest bar in Europe because almost every building is a bar.

Aug 17

I got up in time for the Cube Hostel breakfast and tackled a crepe again.  Another failed attempt…  Luckily the guy who tried after me had even more of a blow out, and that soothed my ego a little.  At noon, I stuffed my goods into my backpack, said goodbye to some really nice staff in the hostel and made my way for the train station.  I wish I had thought to go to university in Leuven….

Not a crepe-master.

Not a crepe-master.

Cube Hostel in Leuven near the bars!
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