By Lareb Asim, University of Liège, Belgium.
I arrived in Liège at the end of August for my placement aboard at the University of Liège. Since it is so close to the UK and from previous conversations with Belgians, I had expected that the weather would be cold and rainy and so I had prepared according to that. However, I soon found that the weather was a lot warmer than I anticipated and one of the first things I ended up buying for my studio was a fan.
The city has a lot to offer from the famous Belgian chocolates to a waffle invented in this city (Gaufre Liegeoise). Also, I found out that French fries did not actually originate in France. In fact, in one of my first conversations with a Belgian I was told that they are actually Belgian fries and you can find friteries all over the cities which specialise and only serve Belgian fries. Also, you can find a variety of restaurants offering different cuisines, especially Italian, Thai and French.
Moreover, there are many parks in close vicinity to the centre like a botanical garden that are great for visiting in the warmer days. The Meuse River runs through the city and in the summer there are boat tours that can be taken. There are lots of shops in the centre and a large shopping centre at some distance from the city, but public transport is reliable and frequent which makes it easy to access the shopping centre. In the month of October there is a fair in Liège called the Foire d’Octrobre, which has lots of food and many rides that can be enjoyed.
Belgium is known for its comic strip tradition with many famous comics originating in this country, like Tintin and the Smurfs. You can find murals of these comics all over the cities in Belgium, especially in Brussels. Also, Liège has an excellent geographical location which makes travelling very easy. In fact, it is possible to travel by train, as routes are available to cities within Belgium as well as to countries surrounding it at a reasonable price.
I have had lots of fun exploring the city in the last 10 months and I look forward to spending my last month before I return back to Manchester.