On a splendid Sunday in mid-October, the area around Nettinne in the Vallées des Saveurs was an oasis of peace, quiet and serenity. Well, not entirely, to be perfectly truthful.

The local church of Nettinne was quiet and peaceful enough. The front door was locked, even on a Sunday morning when you would expect there to be faithful worshippers paying their respects to divine entities.  Not a soul in sight. Hardly any, for that matter, anywhere else in Nettinne unless you consider the motocross event that I’ll be mentioning in a while.

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The only evidence of any souls in the vicinity of the church was in the shape of gravestones for departed souls. The thought occurred to us, in fact, that maybe the church is only used for funerals.

We let the departed souls rest in peace and moved on to the surrounding countryside. As quite often happens, the (already pretty) landscape was enhanced by the skyscape.

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The majority religion in Belgium is Catholicism. Nowadays, this is mainly evident through the annual holidays, still based mainly on the religious calendar, and the presence of churches and chapels all over the country. Including in the Vallées des Saveurs. Hence our encounter with another religious construction, this one a tiny chapel dedicated to Saint Donat.

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Looking back at Nettinne…

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Soon a wide panorama of fields unfolded before our eyes to the left. Except that, not too far away ‘something’ was happening. We saw a large group of parked cars. What was it? A flea market? A horse race? A motorbike track? A cross country running event? The last possibility I could dismiss out of hand. We would be seeing participants jogging around doing their warm up and there were none. Getting closer, we glimpsed motorbikes and were just in time to witness the start of a motocross event. The droning din totally shattered the oasis of peace, quiet and serenity over a wide area.

It was, though, fascinating to watch dozens of young and old motocross afacionados getting all muddy in that noisy inferno…

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Moving further on it became quieter. I much prefer, of course, the spectacle offered by a good skyscape:

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Altogether, it was a thoroughly enjoyable stroll in the Belgian Ardennes.

Thanks go to various farm animals, including donkeys, cows and pigs, for listening to my greetings wherever I saw them grazing on this balmy Sunday morning in October.

Thanks to Sue for the lovely company and for taking my picture above.

Thanks also to my good friend Rachel for the booklet with information on this and various other walks in the Vallées des Saveurs.

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