Week Thirty-seven

This weekend we traveled south to Anhée (one of my favorite parts of Belgium thus far) and rode on a rail bike. Rail bikes are these little contraptions that you pedal like a bike, on a railroad, pretty self explanatory.  We chose to take the short route (6km) since this was our first time doing this and didn’t want to go overboard.  20120922-201933.jpgWhen we were in the shade or under the canopy of the trees, it was so cold.  But then as soon as we moved to sunlight it jumped about 20 degrees.  Thank goodness for layers.

20120922-202003.jpgWhat we didn’t expect is that the first-half of our journey to the midpoint was ALL UPHILL.  We are pretty fit people but our legs do not have the power of a steam engine to move this thing and 80 pounds worth of children uphill.  We did manage to do it, thanks to the driving force of trying to catch up with the people in front of us (about 0.5km ahead); we are competitive people.  We stopped a few times to take “pictures” or rather to let our legs rest.

20120922-202022.jpgWhen we arrived at the midpoint we were delighted to find it was a café with beer, food and desserts!  We definitely needed the calories to replenish what we had just lost.

20120922-202045.jpgI was quite pleased with my dessert.  I was also pleased that the second half of the journey was ALL DOWNHILL!  Jason and I stood up on our pedals and tried to make the railbike go as fast as possible much to the thrill and delight of Zane and Lily.  What took us probably 40 minutes to pedal to get there, probably only took about 7 minutes to get back.  Next time I’m bringing a can of WD-40 to challenge the speed barrier of the railbike.

We next traveled southwest to Montaigle.  The site of Montaigle (or Mont d’Aigle “Eagle Mountain”) was first occupied by Romans in the 3rd century.  Later, the Montaigle Castle was built in 1300.  In 1302 the castle was used in the landmark Battle of the Golden Spur where the Flemish rebels defeated the French King Philip IVs knights.

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20120922-202138.jpgIn 1554 the castle was burned down during the war against France’s King Henri II but it’s current condition has been protected by the “Friends of Montaigle” who are responsible for it’s upkeep and classification as an official site.

20120922-202153.jpgLily found a stick which quickly became her wand.  She tried many spells but unfortunately the castle was all out of magic properties.

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20120922-202233.jpgI know if I was a castle builder I’d build on this space too.  You can see a full 360˚ from up here.

20120922-202250.jpgI’m always amazed when I see such large structures built so long ago.  These days it seems like they can’t even build a two story house without the use of cranes.

20120922-202300.jpgOur day in Wallonia tuckered out Miss Lily but she managed to hold on to her stick while she slept during the entire ride home.

20120922-202401.jpgCan’t wait to see this area of Belgium when the leaves fully turn in a few weeks.

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One Response to Week Thirty-seven

  1. tjebran35 says:

    Oh, what a wonderful day trip. I will be eager to see the foliage when you go again. The leaves are beginning to turn here in North Carolina, and if rain comes at the right time, we will have a beautiful autumn. We were so dry last year that it was not at peak for viewing. Your dessert looks wonderful and all of you look healthy and happy … good to see. Sending many loving thoughts to each of you. GiGi

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