A good while ago, around 2012 or so, I bought a map from Overijse, where I now live, which shows an extensive network of numbered walking paths in an area covering several villages close to the river Dijle. It’s named Wandelnetwerk Zuid-Dijleland, i.e. South Dijleland walking network. They also have a digital version.
I began to go for countryside walks following the signposted paths shown on the map, and soon my son Gianluca started to join me. It was quality time for us, and both used to enjoy it tremendously. The sights were beautiful, the surroundings peaceful and the company mutually interesting. On a typical walk, apart from taking numerous pictures, we would have many discussions mostly on philosophical questions. We started to call these walks “adventures” – maybe it was a term chosen by me when I suggested to him to come along.
During one of these walks Gianluca mentioned that we should both keep a journal about them. I liked the idea and within a few minutes we decided that I would set up a blog and both of us would write our own account, separately, on each adventure and upload it.
We named the blog “Adventures in Dijleland” and it was a great success. We would show off our writings and pictures to relatives and friends and nowadays, several years later, I never tire of reading past blog posts there and recalling our wonderful experiences together.
Later, we moved one step further. Gianluca’s mama, my wife Sue, went on a trip with a friend of hers so I had the idea of taking Gianluca on a “special adventure” to another country. Over a spaghetti carbonara at Italia Grill in Overijse, we drew up a shortlist of possible destinations. For some reason he was interested in countries starting with the letter M. Online back home, Wizzair had excellent prices for Skopje in Macedonia, and I booked there and then for 4 nights, 3 full days, there.
It was another great success, and from then on “Adventures in Dijleland” took on a new dimension, including “special adventures” anywhere in the world.
Following Macedonia, we have up until now been to Barcelona, Montenegro, Bucharest and most recently Iceland, apart of course from our home country, Malta, all of which are faithfully reported in Gianluca’s blog. While searching for a couple of images to include here, I was myself impressed at the sheer volume and quality of the photos we have accumulated.
Alas, we rarely go to adventures in Dijleland anymore. Most of Gianluca’s weekends are taken up by his sporting activities and visits by and to his friends. A new and rather difficult problem has cropped up with me and my hip – I can’t walk for any long distance, at least for the time being (I hope). I dearly wish we could complete the whole map one day, when I can resume walking properly.
This blog, “The Wanderer”, is my own version of and owes its existence to Adventures in Dijleland. Hence this acknowledgment.
Tonio Privitelli – 13 April 2017