Local Heart, Global Soul

October 14, 2017

Lighting A Candle For A Friend Far Away…

Filed under: BELGIUM,Meersel-Dreef,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our visit to the “Valley of Mercy of Our Lady of Lourdes” at Meersel-Dreef, the northern most village in Belgium continues.

Located less than a kilometer over the Dutch border and just south of Breda, the little huts that house the Stations of the Cross make a semi-circle around the grotto.

We arrive at the grotto from the rear, walking around to the front where a small stream of people come and go.

Some  light candles, some sit on the seats facing the grotto for a quiet moment of peace, prayer and contemplation, others are taking a general look around.

I take photographs for our family album (extras to these, not shown here for privacy reasons) as Himself buys candles and lights them for a Kiribati friend of ours who is a Catholic nun.

Although we are not Catholics ourselves we know that these places are very special to Sister “x”, and she appreciates very much that we remember her like this. We are far from alone in lighting candles, the tray is filling up fast and the other trays of candles a meter or so away are already flickering with the light of many candles. We have a dinner appointment back at the home of our hosts so can not stay here long, but it’s been an interesting place to visit and with so many other people also visiting, they obviously think so too.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 13, 2017

Silence Is Golden In The Maria Park…

Filed under: ART,BELGIUM,Meersel-Dreef,PHOTOGRAPHY,Statues / Sculpture — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A few days ago I translated an information board in Meersel-Dreef about how the “Valley of Mercy of Our lady of Lourdes” was founded in 1895.

In todays post we are crossing the road from the monastery and entering the Maria park where the valley of mercy and Lourdes grotto are located.

Pilgrims have been coming here for more than a century, and one of the first warm spring days in 2017 saw the park busy with many visitors, so it’s popularity has far from waned.

The main path separates into left and right branches that curve around in a semicircle,  that meet more or less at the grotto in the middle.

Around each of these curved paths are a series of small hut-like brick buildings, each containing statues that pertain to a station of the cross.

The marble statues inside are beautiful, and it’s a perfect place for contemplation.

The Maria Park is a place where the public are requested to be silent during their visit so that proper contemplation, prayer, gathering of thoughts and finding of peace might be obtained. We visited in silence, and even though the the strength of the religious beliefs between the members of our party of six varied considerably, each of us came away with something from having been here.  They say that ‘silence is golden” and if our experience here is anything to go by, sometimes it certainly is.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Eerbied en stilte” (reverence and silence), the sign also requests that dogs be on leads.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This was an additional shrine, but we didn’t take the wheelchair down this side path.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Hoogstraten  / Meersel-Dreef / Mariapark
Wikipedia  / Mersel-Dreef / Belgium (Dutch language only)

October 11, 2017

Cycling From One Post To Another…

Filed under: BELGIUM,Meersel-Dreef,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Think about things typically Dutch and one of the things that immediately springs to mind is the bicycle. Not only do a large percentage of the population use their bikes as transport to work, they also use them for recreation too.

The demand is so great that thousands of official  “fietsroute” (cycle routes)  incorporating scenic, historic, city, village, beaches, nature reserves, castles, waterways, tourist spots, breweries, forests, wildlife and many other points of interest as their themes or focal points.

The duration of the cycle routes can be anything from a few kilometres to entire day trips, with most of the routes interconnecting so that it’s possible to almost navigate your way around the entire country without leaving a cycle path.

Of course the national system of country and city cycle paths is the key element that makes this possible. With more than eighty percent of cycle paths separated from vehicle traffic, the safety of the system is what makes it possible to have a nation that almost literally cycles from the cradle to the grave.

There are multitudes of cycle route books, both private,  government or local government  published, but these days a quick look on the internet and a push on the “print” button is just as an effective way to plan a trip, or indeed download an App and connect the information into your phone or travel GPS system.

Such is the interest in recreation cycling and importance recognised in keeping people fit and healthy that investment has not just been made in the making and upkeep of cycle paths, but many information boards and special markers also line almost every route.

These markers carry a seemingly strange code of numbers and arrows but it’s really simple, once you have your route, or combination of routes, all you have to do is follow the relevant numbers on the route posts.

I have (somewhere on the masses of folders on my computer and backup hard drives) photographs taken of single cycle path route makers, but of course as per Murphy’s Law despite searching I can not find them now that I want them. It’s only natural that cycle routes in the Netherlands and Belgium interconnect and since our visit to Meersel-Dreef is fractionally into Belgium, and we have open borders, the Dutch routes continue on as one. the information board is in only in Dutch and translated into English reads:

The Provence of Antwerp Tourist board selected the most beautiful and safest cycle routes in the province of Antwerp and drew a map of the cycle route network of nearly 3000 km. The routes are interconnected and each intersection of the network has a number. Based on those numbers you decide your route, you decide yourself how long your route will be and for how long you will go. Look on the map before you leave, make a list of intersections you want to go to, measure and add up the distances between the intersections and then you know how long your tour will be.

During the tour you have only to keep track of the numbers, the excellent road signs do the rest. At crossings, side roads and junctions between intersections, are rectangular signs with an arrow indicating the direction, and the number of the intersection you want to go to. The whole network has sign posts marking two directions. Do you fancy a trip along the cycle work network? On the basis of this section of the map you can decide on a route in the area. At the tourist offices you can get detailed maps of the cycle network in the province of Antwerp. You can order online maps via http://www.antwerpsekempen. be ‘

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 10, 2017

A Monastery Where The Devil Is In The Detail…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Continuing our visit to Meersel-Dreef, the information board describing the buildings history was so long that I have broken it up into two parts: posted yesterday and today.

The board was only in Dutch so I’ve translated it here: “The French revolution: When the French revolution spilled over into this area, the State taxed all religious goods.

In early 1797 the monks were driven out of the monastery. After the Belgium independence was proclaimed, Trappist monks from Westmalle started to use the monastery on 3rd May 1838.

About 30 years later the Kapucijnen monks returned and spiritual life in Meersel-Dreef returned. The Maria Park and the Lourdes grotto date back from 1895. Foundation of the “Valley of Mercy of Our lady of Lourdes”.

After the Maria appearance in Lourdes in 1858 and the renewed interest in pilgrimages, Meersel-Dreef was also given it’s ‘Valley of Mercy’.

Father Jan Baptist, Provincial of Belgium left on a mission to the Punjab in English India in 1895. On the way his ship came into a big storm during which he promised to make a grotto for Our Lady of Lourdes so that he would reach shore safely. He managed to arrive safely so he decided to stand by his promise. In June 1896 he laid the first stone for the Lourdes grotto at Meersel-Dreef in the garden opposite the monastery.

The watermill. In general it is thought that the watermill if Meersel-Dreef already existed in the 14 century, evidenced from a document which describes the renting of the mill “Meerselmolen’ and the farm de Eyssel from Jan IV Van Cuyck, Lord of Hoogstraten.

Like all mills in the duchy of Hoogstraten, the mill of Meersel was a “banmolen” (which means) a mill owned by the feudal lords where the locals where obliged to mill their grains (and pay for the privilege).

The mill was rented out early in the 17 century, and a canal was dug to bypass the mill allowing boats to sail further up the canal. At the beginning of the 20th century the mill burnt down (again) so in 1911 the mill was restored and modernised. This grinding installation is still operational. Opposite the mill is the mill house which was built in 1894. The old mill store house, next to the house, is still used as a house today.’

Try as we might, and with our short walk around just part of the buildings, we found it hard to pinpoint exactly where the mill now is. There was an abundance of outbuildings, some of them possibly dwellings but if one of them was the millhouse, or just part of the buildings and monastery from the Kapucijnen monks, we could not tell.

That said, there was probably a lot more possible to explore but we of course stayed where our hosts lead rather than branching out separately on our own. The Meersel-Dreef buildings continued to delight and as usual I was interested in not just the complex as a whole but also the details. For instance, I love that one window that has diamond shaped panes, opens with nine of the diamonds near the center opening out as one small window. It proves that function and practicality need not ruin the beautiful design, you just work with it and get a quirky diamond-shaped window! Brilliant!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 18, 2017

Our Little Marshmallow Went The Distance…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Earlier this summer (when the weather was half decent, before the August and September rain set in), Kiwi Daughter went on a hiking trip with a group of girl friends.

The area they were in was the Ardennes in Belgium, so it wasn’t the flat terrain that they are used to, and they carried their tents, sleeping bags, food and cooking equipment with them, so it was hardly like a day out with a rucksack either.

The distance covered was just over 50 kilometers and the girls worked as a team to help share the load and help one another up hills. There were blisters aplenty amongst them too, Kiwi Daughter getting blisters on her feet in places where we wondered how it was possible.

Only after the hike did we discover that her feet had grown since we bought the walking shoes last Christmas, so she should have been in shoes one size larger.

She was quick to point the finger in our direction for that one, and Yes, we did forget to check, but I did gently remind her that had she done the amount of training asked of her (and the group) before the trip, she would have figured this out in the months before so (a) Himself and I would have been able to buy her new shoes in time for her to break them in and (b) she probably would not have had any issues with blisters at all.

Hindsight is of course a wonderful thing, it seems that most of the girls in the group had been also less than prepared to one degree or another so they suffered and struggled together.

At the end of the first hike Kiwi Daughter phoned us, weary to the bone, sore everywhere, her feet erupting in pain, almost too tired to eat dinner and close to tears. She didn’t know if she could do this, it was too hard, her feet were a mess… the list went on. I am certain that if at that moment Himself had offered to jump in the car, drive to Belgium and pick her up, she would have said goodbye to the rest of her group almost without a backward glance.

No such luck, we listened on the phone as the tears of weariness overcame her and told her that this was as much a test of character as it was of enduring the course. Our words of course meant little that night, and also again when six kilometers into the following days 26 km hike when she sat down at the side of a small road and thought she could not carry on because her feet hurt so much. There was a competitive edge to this event, some dozen or so groups having been given different routes but with the same terminus each day, no one wanted to be the last team in.

Some teams were all boys, some all girls and a few were mixed. Apparently all of the all-girl teams struggled with carrying the equipment, it seemed that being able to pass the weight around to few boys with muscles than they was a half decent advantage. On the flip side I think that it was highly likely that the boys carried a lot more food than the girls, but then again that gets lighter as the day goes on and tents do not.

That day, himself and I listened out for the phone, half expecting a call to tell us that she had dropped out. The phone stayed silent until the evening, when she let us know that she had persevered with the other 20 kilometers after all. Her voice was like a shadow of her usual self, her tiredness could be felt though the phone, her voice trembled and faltered, more tears ensued, and once she had recovered she told us that she wasn’t the only one who had trouble.

The girls all helped one another, taking packs apart and redistributing items several times during the journey, supporting one another physically, emotionally and mentally. They arrived in the campsite in twilight, several hours after the other teams and hardly felt like cooking after getting their tents up.

They managed to finish that day, and the next, despite all of the hurdles that they faced. This is the kind of experience where maybe it’s not the most fun when you are having to do the hard graft, but upon reflection you can look back and realise that in pushing yourself to the limit and not giving in, that you do indeed grow as a person, you find you are stronger than you thought, you can take pride in that fact that you didn’t take the easy option of giving up.

Not only did the girls finish with their team, they lived through something together and came away stronger and better for it.

One ‘bonus” (if it could be called that), about walking in blistered and shredded feet was that when they got sunburnt on the second day Kiwi Daughter said she didn’t feel it. Once home she discovered that she had a set of red, pink and white stripes down her legs regardless of using sunscreen several times. She said her new nick-name of the moment should be “marshmallow” since her legs looked like one.

I didn’t take photographs of her blisters, they were gruesome, but she could laugh about her legs. Kiwi Daughter now looks back on this trip with pride, and quite rightly so because she earned her place at the finish line; literally with blood, sweat and tears. Our little marshmallow went the distance and Himself and I could not be more proud.

July 19, 2015

And Around The Corner We Find a Little Castle… As You Do !

Filed under: BELGIUM,CASTLES,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags:

As we were driving back from the Drielanden punt when as is often the case, Himself  asks if we can take a few of the smaller roads back to our holiday house. I have to admit that the border here goes back and forth a bit so I’m not entirely certain if we were in the Netherlands or (I think, Belgium) when we came across this delightful little castle, nestled into the green countryside. In case you were wondering, not it’s not on fire, they just had a large bonfire burning out the back and the smoke was billowing out quite distance. I love that its so “castle-like” but on a semi-miniaturized scale. Wow, a what  building… I’d love to live there…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 18, 2015

We Pass On Sophisticated Dining And Opt For Fast, Kid Friendly Fare…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

After exhausting the rest of the family in the Labyrinth on the Belgium side of the Three Country Point of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, the next item on our agenda is lunch.

It’s rather difficult to feed hungry kids when we don’t have anything with us and they were stuck in the maze for longer than anticipated.

Now they were ravenous and although Himself and I looked longingly at the bigger and more sophisticated restaurant close by, the kids spotted some play equipment further up and then the snack bar around the corner next to it, pretty much narrowing down our dining options to one.

A very short wait later, food was going into two grumbling children, improving their mood considerably and Himself and I could relax under the sun umbrella.

One of the things we ordered is a typical Dutch / Belgium item called “bitterballen” which literally translates as “bitter balls”.

In fact they aren’t bitter, rather it’s a slow cooked concoction of meat and spices, the meat is then drained and shredded, mixed with a very stiff white sauce, rolled into balls, and then repeatedly dipped in egg and breadcrumbs and deep fried.

They are a delicious snack and my mother had an old Dutch recipe for it and used to make them  when I was a kid in New Zealand so it’s been a favourite my whole life.

Annoyingly it’s a recipe that I haven’t found back and my father got rid of a heap of things after she died of cancer more than twenty years ago, it could be with things he stashed away in the loft or he might have gotten rid of it with other things at that time.

One day I will do some investigation to find a recipe that sounds familiar to the one my mother used and try to make these at home. In the meantime most bars and many cafés have them on their menu so we can just order them when we fancy some. We made this trip some years ago and Kiwi Daughter had just discovered that she rather liked bitterballen more than she thought… needless to say, lunch was a hit with both kids.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

That drawing of the highest point in the Netherlands is rather a large exaggeration of the reality…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 17, 2015

A-Mazed By The Labyrinth, And I Get A Short-Cut To The Centre…

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

The “Drielandenpunt“(Three Countries Point) in the Netherlands,  where the countries of Beligum and Germany meet the Netherlands also has an extra attraction: a “labyrint” (labyrinth, maze).

The Kiwidutch children and I have seen a little of it when we took the lift up to the top of the Boudewijntoren Observation Tower on the Belgium side and the kids were keen to investigate further.

The shop and entrance building to the labrinth/ maze has an amazing roof that’s in the shape of a butterfly, (best seen I admit on the postcard that I bought and photographed) and inside the maze, a warren of dead ends, bridges and false trails to make the project harder going for the participants.

I looked in at the beginning, saw that there are not only dead ends but also water “gates” along the trail to catch the unweary. These are grills in the ground that spout up shoots of water from the base, woebetide anyone standing directly over it as they spout up regularly without warning.

It was never the idea that I would be attempting to negotiate the maze myself, it’s far too much for me to manage on crutches so I’d arranged with the friendly lady in the shop that I could take a quick look at how it looks at the beginning and then take the short-cut to the centre to wait for the rest of the family at the centre.

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

This short-cut isn’t available to members of the public entering the maze, instead it is actually the exit path once you have finally found your way to the centre.

I just happen to have a staff member take me along it both ways to save myself a long wait outside the maze, now I can wait in the shade in the centre and shout directions to the rest of the family as they struggle to get there via the pathways in the hedges.

I would like to say that the rest of the family reached the centre of the maze unaided. Sadly there was a certain amount of lifting Little Mr. over and above fences in order to find the quickest way to the centre and these tactics increased as their frustration levels rose and the time being taken to negotiate the way got longer and longer.

It’s become startlingly clear that patience is not a strong point in my family, but I have to admit that the sight of my small son popping up over the metal fences around the maze was rather funny. Eventually, (more than forty minutes later than we had anticipated) we were together in the centre and could take the short-cut to the exit.  The kids were rather sick of the sight of the maze by then and any ideas of becoming jungle adventurers were stoutly quashed.

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch/Family)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Labyrint Drielandenpunt

July 16, 2015

Drielandenpunt, Now Where Exactly Is It? …Many Are Fooled.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The triangle where the borders of the Netherlands,Belgium and Germany intersect is called the “Drielandenpunt Vaals”.

The point is also located near the summit of Vaalserberg on the border of the municipalities of Vaals (Dutch Limburg), Plombières and Calamine (both in the Belgian province of Liege) and Aachen (in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia).

The current Drielandenpunt Vaals ran along five different borders from 1815. However, there were never more than four boundaries come together simultaneously, as various States came and went.

The border triangle was a four-country point from 1839 – 1919. Netherlands, Belgium and Prussia (later Germany) being joined here by the mini-state Moresnet.

Af the end of World War I there were several border corrections between Belgium and Germany when Moresnet (a neutral country) was annexed to Belgium. Since then, the four country point Vaals become a three-point meeting point.

The first tower on the Vaalserberg was built of wood by a group called the “Highest Point of the Netherlands Foundation” in 1905 and they named it the “Wilhelminatoren” (Wilhelmina Tower) after the former Dutch queen Queen Wilhelmina.

There are also accounts that prior to First World War a woman from Gemmenich took up a regular spot here with a wooden cart that sold lemonade from the top side and, hidden from sight under a tarpaulin, other stronger drinks.

In 1924 on the Dutch side a wooden hut was built that sold soft drinks, sweets and postcards.

In 1928 the new symbolic Drielandenpunt was opened, and the collection of old landmarks were relocated near the memorial to the highest point in the Netherlands and in 1930 the municipality of Vaals took responsibility for the creation of a new access road to the Vaalserberg, making the Drielandenpunt accessible by car. The oldest border poles are from the Vrije Rijksstad Aken (former free city of Aken). These stones from 1340 can be recognised by the German eagle emblem on them. Of the 180 original stones only about 18 are left in the forest of Aken.

The symbolic three country corner is considered by many tourists as the real three country corner, but in fact the real one is located some 50 m further. The confusion is increased by the fact that two of the three border markers once stood on the real three country corners. The real three country corner at Vaals is today marked by a pole from 1926. In that year two original poles were placed to the symbolic country corner, the Belgium one is a copy of the one donated by the Dutch tourist bureau in replacement of the one the disappeared from Moresnet and around the real pole, the position of each of the four nations is still marked out on the ground.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The one below looks like but isn’t…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This one IS the real three country point… complete with original markings and metal lines set into the ground…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Two of the other original ,markers incorporated into the not-real marker point…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

Drielandenpunt (Vaals)

July 15, 2015

A Tripoint Of Doggies, Each Of Them A Hit…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A few years ago Family Kiwidutch visited the Tripoint (‘Het Drielandenpunt’) in Vaals.

This is a tripoint where the borders of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands come together.

With a height of 323 meters, “Mount Vaals” is also the highest point of the Netherlands (excluding the Caribbean Netherlands).

The kids and I have been up the tower, with Himself who is scared of heights remaining below, and as we emerge from the lift coming out we see two men out motoring with their dogs.

The doggies are of a small type, maybe terriers? (Sorry, I’m a cat person so fairly useless with dog types) and they each have their own wicker basket on the back of the motorbike.

The baskets are slightly different shapes and one has a wire and cloth shade roof attached. The dogs look very content and comfortable in their baskets, cool and with a view. Later in the day when we went back to where the car was parked we spotted another “touring” dog, this one doing an outing with a cycling couple and attached in a special carrier to the back of the man’s bike. Some might wonder why this dog isn’t getting some exercise with it’s cycling owners, but you need to know that many Dutch hobby cyclists can cycle 40, 60, 80 or 120 km per day if they want to do some weekend touring. Obviously even for a very young and fit dog these kind of distances are too far for just a lead. Due to allergies we are a pet-less family and so small encounters with animals like this always gets our attention. It’s nice to see that it’s not just us who like to go out as a “whole family”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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