Main gate still reflects its lost grandeur.
Driving around we discovered the magnificent monastery of Mont-Dieu. We’ve heard about it but never been there ourselves because it’s not visible from the main road. It’s still feels as remote as it must have been during its period.
Located in the heart of the Ardennes , the monastery of Mont-Dieu was built in an open field in the middle of an immense forest of 1123 hectares, and through which sources, feeding once numerous ponds.
This Carthusian monastery is founded in 1137 by Odo, abbot of Saint-Remi near Reims. Pope Innocent III recognised the new monastery in a bull, that same year on December 9, 1137. The inhabitant monks followed the Rule of Saint Bruno and it was used for live and pray until Continue reading
This is the walk we walked this weekend. It’s route 79 with a total length of 16.4 km (102 miles) .. the sky clear blue, the temperature a spring 13ºC (55ºF) … fantastic. BTW to make the tour complete I added some pictures that I’ve taken some other time along the same road.
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.
home made travel guide
You can always escape the comfort of the water mill and take a tour. To help decide what to do i wrote this small and very personal travel guide. There’s a printed version at the location to take with you on your journey. Here you will have to coop with the abstract feeling of turning virtual pages.
I cannot help to say that gardening is a must for a healthy spirit. You’ll work harder, think clearer, make better judgements and produce more if you can work in a garden from time to time even if it’s only for an hour a week. I even dare to challenge you: I think you’ll even live longer if you can be outside and take care of some flowers. They have a soothing effect on stressful people like this blogger and probably yourself.
Hollyhock and Cabbage
The Flower Garden
Coriander in Bloom
The summer is in full force now .. the flowers bloom like crazy and me is loving it in many ways. This weekend i’ve spend only 2 hours of weeding the front courtyard and the flower garden at the back. Check our Facebook and like us or check Flickr for more pics.
Wat en fijn huis, en wat een heerlijk vakantiegevoel! M.V-K.
What a lovely house, and what a great sense of vacation! M.V-K.
Filed under All, Gardening
It’s finally live: the official Supergites website. Though it’s still in Dutch, it’s there and that’s the most important thing. The French, English, and German versions will follow in January, as will the calendar and the automated reservation module.
We also registered the gîte at the funniest website, Vakantie bij Nederlanders in Frankrijk . nl, which translates to ‘Vacation with the Dutch in France’. We’re eager to see how it works and whether it gives us any leads.
The gîte will be ready for rent April 1. Tomorrow we’re off to France for 7 days of hard labour. 🙂
Check our new design at Supergites.nl.