Saturday, 14 January 2006

Thanking God

I'm praising God that:

Belgium isn't entirely flat geographically,
Belgium's public transport system is such that one can easily get 1.5h away from Brussels for just 8.60€ (£5.90) return,
Marianne and Saskia both were up for joining me when I said, "I'm escaping to the Ardennes for a day/walk!"

The picture above is of Dinant with one of its forts (see the Belgian flag) and churches (Eastern influence in that spire or what?!). We walked round/through Dinant and surrounding towns, farmsteads, and many fields, passing through several middles of nowhere several times, with after a couple of hours, a full bright orange moon in front and a sunset behind. We started with a picnic sitting on a little pier over the river, bathed in winter sun. We walked where there was still snow (from weeks ago!) We clambered up steep steps following old lines of defence and had much fun when I found a hole in the thick wall which turned out to lead to steps inside the wall which were still 'there' enough to climb up and get on top of the wall with a lovely view down the river. We tried in vain to get our cameras to focus in enough to capture the beauty of relatively huge frost crystals on dead leaves by the path. We met a couple of donkeys who brayed full-chested at us. We met Madonna statuettes in niches in walls :( The walk was wonderfully up & down hills, through villages, woods and fields. It was wonderfully and definitely not Brussels. And after 4 hours we arrived back in the centre of Dinant and were in time to hit a café for hot chocolate before catching the train back.

<-- Saskia, yours truly & Marianne.

The wonderful Belgium Language Thing contributed to the taking of this photo. I was about to take it of Sas & Marianne, when a voice behind asked if we would like them to take it with the 3 of us in it instead. I thanked them and hence the photo on the left. It was only as we walked on that Marianne commented that they'd spoken German to us (she being firstly Dutch-speaking found this confusing). I hadn't noticed! I'd heard and responded, but hadn't noticed the language! I love the Belgium Language Thing!

Thanking God!


mama said...

Now that's a happy post. You should do that more often :) But next time, please record what birdies you see.

étrangère said...

Mallards, swans, a cormorant (I think - it flew past), a female blackbird, crows and lots of starlings settling in to roost for the night. Nothing more exciting!