Much as we have been generally complaining about the… lukewarm summer of this year here in Belgium, it makes for the ideal temperature to go out for a walk in the countryside, so long as it doesn’t rain, of course.

It was so refreshing this morning in Dongelberg and its surroundings in Jodoigne (Walloon Brabant). The 8.8 km walk was, as is often the case, thanks to Denzil of Discovering Belgium fame. It started in a small car park next to a disused quarry, which is now a pretty lake used by a diving club.*

Unfortunately, the above two pictures, taken through a wire mesh, are practically the only two views of the ex quarry available to the general public. The perimeter is surrounded by thick foliage and a protective fence erected for safety. This is a pity as it’s evident, from these two glimpses at the lake, that it could provide a spectacular park for us ramblers. Or maybe just a platform with a panoramic viewpoint. Duikcentrum Dongelberg, or Ville de Jodoigne, please take note šŸ™‚

As is so often the case on a walk in the Belgian countryside, I was rewarded with a bonanza of pleasant scenes.

This cross I immediately recognised from Denzil’s blog post, along with various other landmarks.

Wheat and corn fields, so typical of the Belgian summer landscape. I paused in my tracks to observe the wavy movement created by the breeze …

It’s a summer of unsettled weather here in western Europe, and I was lucky that the only downpour of the morning came when I was close to a pub-cafe in the middle of the countryside. The owner was still cleaning the floor, but he kindly put the mop aside, washed his hands and poured me a beer followed by a coffee. Later, he couldn’t resist asking about my whereabouts before we bid each other goodbye. The other two customers, a wizened old man and a younger, also wizened, man, both wished me a pleasant parcours as the sun was again peeking from behind the clouds and the rain had stopped.

It was the perfect antidote to a stressful day of work yesterday. Calm, peaceful, relaxed. Beautiful.


* For the historical context of the Dongelberg quarry and its rehabilitation, I recommend that you visit Denzil’s blog.