En route – Tongeren (Belgium) to Noorbeek (The Netherlands)

For those who would like to see the trail portion of my journey so far: here is a map.

En route – Brustem to Tongeren (Belgium)

Turbocharged with the cherry juice from the orchards of my hosts (Cherryfarm Bakkershof in Brustem) and the memories of the eccentric gifts of the historic Christina, who was born in this very place, I set out into a warm and grey mid-winter day. 13 degrees Celsius, I need to dress down significantly!

The showers were frequent throughout the day. As I walked along the trail, I started to understand why the oldest settlements were in locations that we would call ‘holes’: These depressions are a natural protection from the strong winds that happen to blow frequently in this flat landscape. If it weren’t for the many groves and rows of sheltering trees, it would feel like on the islands in the Canadian Arctic.

Today’s journey took me along the old Roman overland trail from Kassel to the coast of the English Channel (to Bavay, France). The trail does not look any different from the majority of agricultural roads in the area. Within minutes, I was walking by a Gallo-Roman or Celtic burial mound of sizeable proportions. Continue reading “En route – Brustem to Tongeren (Belgium)”

En route – Antwerpen to Brustem

This morning, I have left Antwerp by train. The beautiful weather from yesterday is gone, replaced by the one that I would have expected for this region and this time of the year: A rainy grey, but at least not freezing.

It was good to get on the train, to put some distance to the port and the city. And the landscape changed slowly, from the urban to the industrial, from the commercial to the suburban, then fields and forest, creeks and towns. I feel better in these more rural settings. Although Antwerp did not strike me as extremely loud in term of ubiquitous advertising and commercial overstimulation, I was able to feel that hollowness of the commercialized city life.

Who is Who in Leuven - the extravagant Gothic town hall
Who is Who in Leuven – the extravagant Gothic town hall

Now I sit in a side chapel in the gigantic cathedral of Leuwen. Continue reading “En route – Antwerpen to Brustem”