On Wednesday, October 14th we went walking organized by the ”Volksuniversiteit”. I will tell the chronicle of this walk, Theux-Franchimont. We were in the French part of Belgium, in the Ardennes. Our starting point was the Quai des Saules in Theux. When we got closer it was good to see how the landscape changed, the high green hills, the housing and the French-like atmosphere. During the walk we saw snow, rain and sun. I enjoyed it, it was very inspiring.

When I order the pictures i made, then comethe various moments of the journey together. We saw the autumn, between the fog we saw the hills. We saw the land, plants full of moisture. Raindrops as crystal balls that remained briefly on the fruit and then fall as rain in the streams. We saw autumn leaves and chestnut trees. Rain coming down from the roofs through mouths of dragons, on the sidewalks. Everything moves. The earth opens up, there are carrots, pumpkins and mushrooms born. Mushrooms at the base of a dead tree that might not be tomorrow. I do not know how many wooden piles we encountered during walking, prepared by the people for the coming cold days.


Everything is connected in a nice circle. In the region were found metals such as iron, lead and zinc, so early this region was known for its arms industry, later also the metal industry. In the landscape you see the history, art, religion of the people who lived there, but also their fears. Theux church, St-Hermes-and-St Alexander (XI century), is very interesting, with beautiful romance carvings.

In the baptismal font are four faces. There are different theories but it is thought to symbolize the four rivers of Paradise, and imagine the meaning of baptism (river, water, and salvation of man). The church tower of the twelfth century, had a defense function. You can see this only by coming through the church and there on the floor are several loopholes. The roof of the church is covered with 127 paintings on wood from the seventeenth century, surprising!  Nearby stood a palace of Charlemagne. In Franchimont we could see the ruins of the castle (XI century), with its thick walls and ramparts.

But history is also described into small details. As the white house, which is often flooded by the river, on the wall you can see the imprint of the rising water, the door is now a window. Man remembers the former tragedies, there are flowers at monuments to commemorate the dead from the fifteenth century (600 men died, all men from the village), from the eighteenth and twentieth century (World War II). We continue our journey. It smells of damp earth, to burning wood, dung.


The efforts of the long walk outside, the nice people you speak occasionally, the stories told by our guide, let you understand the things you see and gives you plenty of energy. Everything is connected in a nice circle.


Volksuniversiteit Maasland organizes six walks of about 16 kilometers spread over the year. We walked through the Limburg region of the Netherlands, Belgium or Germany. Every six weeks following a route along which a guide will lead us. The group consists of about 20 people in a pleasant atmosphere.

Photos: Ángeles Nieto




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