If you could choose, how would your perfect city look like? Mine would have the perfect balance of urban structures, trendy little cafés, antique shops and nature. I want to see more allotments, roof or vertical gardens. Shouldn’t that be the future too? It makes me feel like going guerrilla bombing, you know: throwing wild flowers seeds everywhere… It’s what I liked best in Liège: the sentier des côteaux, a walk in the hills, just above the centre.
It starts with stairs. 374 steps, to be exact. Once a year, the first Saturday evening in October, they are entirely lit with candles. Must be quite a sight. More impressive, maybe, are the people doing their daily jog there, barely sweating, as if it were the easiest thing in the world. How many times did it take them to perfect that routine? I wondered, feeling guilty of my earlier Belgian waffle… But the view, my friend, is so worth it, especially under a bright blue sky.
You are now 90 metres higher. To go down we decided the follow some of the 13 kilometres of paths, some leading to fields, orchards, wooden areas, others simply lined with thousands of buttercups. How unique is that picture: cows taking a nap under apple trees, the city silhouette right above them? It’s liberating. You can see the houses, the buildings afar, you know your hotel is a mere 30 minutes away, but you do feel in the countryside. No sound of traffic. Birds dashing by, butterflies dancing. There used to be a citadel and convents around here. The names remain – the Diocese’s orchard, the Carmelite convent’s forest, the Daughters of the Cross’ meadow…
Before going bath to civilisation, stop at the Brasserie C, the local microbrewery. Settle on the terrace and relax, order a sharing board and a beer (simple question of rehydration, of course). Maybe the Curtius, light, floral, slightly fruity too. Or the Torpah, which exists as 30, 60 or 90 depending on how hoppy you prefer your brew. And raise your glass to this amazing city.
>> Visit Liège <<