Monday, September 10, 2018

Leuven Farewell Party, Sept 9, 2018, Barbara B

Some of the Sacramento FF Ambassadors at farewell. Do you have the other picture with everyone in front of the restaurant?? If so please send to Ray

Leuven Farewell Party in Hoegaarden

Outbound to Leuven & Kiel, Day 12 of 24, September 9, 2018
By:  Barbara B

Today is our last full day in Leuven, the day of our farewell party with our wonderful hosts and farewell to an interesting city. The weather is perfect to explore a bit more of the area. Today is also Monuments day, where many closed historic sights are open for tours.

We had an especially exciting morning because our host, Lieve, has a friend, Richard, who owns a castle –and we got to meet him and tour the castle.  Richard bought the Kasteel van Ordingen about 20 years ago and has been restoring it since then making it as authentic as possible; it is now nearly finished. There are many castles in Belgium and this one is hundreds of years old, built before the French Revolution.

Kasteel van Ordingen

Richard, the castle owner, and my host, Lieve

Barbara, Richard, Helen, Kathy

The castle was damaged in WW II by bombs and Nazi occupation, and the owners have changed many times over the years. Lieve's friend, Richard, and his wife, Miet, will make it a 5 star hotel and restaurant when the spa and pool are finished. There are many huge buildings as part of the castle and a moat with bridge, with large koi swimming in the moat. There were public tours in Flemish and many people took advantage of Monuments Day to tour the castle.

Another view from inside the castle grounds

After lunch at the castle we headed to Hoegaarden for a walk around town and the farewell party. There were speeches given by the HC Dani and by our AC Marty and gifts were exchanged.

Marty presents FFSAC gift tofrom our club to a charity in Benin, Africa

Greta and Dany presentation to Marty

A wonderful meal was served along with beer or wine and dessert. One of the hosts, Mikel, and his ambassador Emily favored us with songs and This Land is Our Land was sung by all. Many hugs and invitations to visit us in Sacramento were exchanged as we bid farewell to our hosts and Belgium.

In Friendship and Peace

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