2 Sep 2009

Am I in the right country?!

So after 2 more days of lengthy hours on the French highways (plenty of traffic, closed exit to Luxemburg due to an accident), I made it to Liège... exhausted and with a fuzzy brain but in one piece. Or so I though until I wandered around downtown yesterday and ran into this:

HUH?! A GUARDIA CIVIL in Liège?! What, is the King of Spain visiting? (The Guardia Civil are a type of spanish national police)

Nope, turns out this is going on:

Ummm... I must have my geography mixed up, 'cause I could have sworn that by driving 2000+ km I would have LEFT Spain! But I must still be in the Peninsula 'cause otherwise how could I have run into the Vuelta Ciclista de España (the final of the three "Grand Tour" cycling races -El Giro de Italia + Le Tour de France + La Vuelta de España)?!

Well a little research (i.e. asking people in the streets + a helpful e-mail from my mom) informed me that for some reason the Vuelta started this year in Holland (?!?!?!) and had an "etapa" ending in Liège yesterday! (aparently today was a day off so they could skip France by flying directly to Girona to continue the race in Spain) Were the organisers trying to recapture the 16th century glory days of the Spanish Empire when the Low Countries were Spanish? No idea! Seems kind of crazy to me... but hey, these cycling races have been trying to up their international publicity for years! The Tour de France actually started in Liège several years ago (and the against-the-clock portion raced under my window when I lived downtown! Nothing so boring as having a cyclist zip under your window, one a minute for 4h!). I think the Giro did a few years back as well. And hey, apparently I missed out on one hell of a good party they had going this weekend to celebrate the Vuelta being in Liège: concerts, dancing, horses, and of course lots of food and drink! I did catch the tail end of the celebrations yesterday:

I love the horses!!!

Ok, now I have to go back to getting settled in... not easy in a dark dorm room associated with a communal kitchen (which when everyone arrives will be used by a whopping 32 people! and we each have to have our own stuff... the place doesn't even have an oven?! argh!!!). Also have to start getting some work done. I just wish the Belgian summer hadn't decided to disappear on September 1st... :p


  1. Sounds like you've had some fun - with more just around the corner.

    Good Luck. I don't know how I would survive without an oven...

  2. One thing's for certain, in Liège there is almost always something interesting going on! The next couple of months have some wonderful weekends on the calendar! :o)

    As for living without an oven... well I did it my first year here (99-00) and suffered through it bravely. :p
    It bugs me more this time 'cause I'm actively trying to lose weight and that limits my wholesome cooking options! That and the limited cooking supplies at my disposal. On the other hand, it will keep me away from that staple "I'm too hungry to bother cooking" option: frozen pizzas! ;o)

  3. Well, I'm glad to see you didn't miss out on all the fun!

    More events coming up? Good, a virtual vacation with CrazyCris and I know I'm going to have good time!

  4. You betcha Rhonda!

    Let's see, we have the "Retrouvailles" this weekend, the "Journées du Patrimoine" + a friend's birthday party next weekend, les "Fêtes de Wallonie" the following weekend, les "Nuits du Côteau| the first Sat of October, the October Fair and then probably a few more random events until the Christmas market starts up.

    And that's just the stuff organised by the City! Living on Campus in a dorm I'm sure they'll be tons more crazyness going on right here under my nose! :p


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