Monthly Archives: January 2011

Who’s Saint Lambert?

Death of S. Lambert

Vallon du Saint-Lambert (Saint Lambert Valley) starts north from Saint-Loup-Terrier and ends up at Attigny holding villages like Guincourt, Tourteron and Suzanne. The stream by the same name ends up in the Aisne. Ok, but who’s this saint Lambert? Where did he come from? And what made him a saint? And why is this little valley carrying his name?

Saint Lambert (c. 636 – c. 700 AD) was the bishop of Maastricht (Tongeren) from about 670 until his death. Lambert was from a noble family of Maastricht, a protégé of his uncle, Bishop Theodard of Maastricht. In company with Willibrord, who had come from England in 691, Lambert preached the gospel to the pagans in the lower stretches of the Meuse, in the area that came to be called the Landgraviate of Continue reading

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Snow Chains in the Ardennes

Snow chain at the front wheel. Photographer: D...
Image via Wikipedia

A winter landscape is beautiful. White slopes with bare trees scattered around like chocolate icing. The picture looks completely like a perfect Christmas card. But being is this picture is less romantic. It’s cold. It’s slippery. It’s dangerous. Renters ask us if they need snow chains (sneeuwkettingen) in the French Ardennes. Hell yeah!

With snow the Belgian and French roads are not clean. Most of the snow is frozen to the surface and the tracks are reduced to one single lane no matter how many there are underneath the 5 centimeters of thick and slippery grey mass. Driving the roads in these conditions is not much fun. And climbing the slopes that look so beautiful on the picture is all of a sudden a dangerous mission.

This situation is not just the case with the cute little white roads on the map or the so-called D roads. Even the European highway E411 between Brussels and Luxembourg turns into an 180km long ice skating track. All along the road you see the poor victims of this winter horror. Abandoned trucks and cars, slid from the road.

Sliding at high speed is just stupid. Sliding off the road at slow speed is just unnecessary. Snow tires are great when the roads are wet and snowy. Snow chains are the only thing that gets you to the bakery on a winter day in the Ardennes. Be prepared.

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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2010. That’s about 6 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 35 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 79 posts. There were 97 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 15mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was January 15th with 71 views. The most popular post that day was Eating nearby: “French Family Food”.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for supergites, hibiscus syriacus, hibiscus aphrodite, supergite, and supergites blog.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

Eating nearby: “French Family Food” November 2009
How the Watermill used to Work January 2010
House June 2009
Garden June 2009

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