Hike and Seek: Pretty in Pink

Yep, warning in advance, fifty shades of pink in this post! With Spring in full bloom it’s key to seize the day ’cause nothing so delicate and briefly as those sugary pink cherry-tree flower pop-ups, right?!

Staying local on this ‘hike and seek’ with a trip to Boniverlei in neighbouring town Edegem. Each April traffic on this rather busy road slows down as one can not but admire the fluffy clouds on either side.

Are you ready for your pink shot? Here we go!

Pink…always in season…

On the off chance that you’re getting a blossom overdose, you can recover in nearby park ‘Romeinse Put’ which will set your colour perception and parameters back to normal.

Will you be joining me next time? There’s a trip to Limburg scheduled if my health permits (long story) and we still have to round up on the South Africa series.

Meanwhile,

#colourmehappy

Ingrid

xxx

Hike and Seek: Winter recap

As we are all quite ready to leave Winter behind us, let me just look back one more time on some of our most enjoyed ‘hike&seek’ moments of the past three months, all in Antwerp province.

The ‘Hike&Seek’ series (both here and on IG) highlight some of Belgium’s finest or most surprising hiking possibilities: exploring nature domains and rural areas and even some city discovery tours. Covered distance doesn’t matter, goal is to keep moving and in doing so seeking joy and wonder/wander. Wanna join me?

Bornem/Hingene/Buitenland

A quick glance at my IG posts tells me we visited the Scheldeland region more than once the past months. To be honest, what’s not to like?! The combo ‘water and green’ is always a golden buzzer and its relative proximity to where we live (less than half an hour by car) makes it quickly and easily accessible as a half-day or just a quick break kind of trip. d’Ursel castle, Marnix de St Aldegonde castle, Lange Dreef or Notelaerdreef make excellent starting points to explore. Already know each corner of Bornem, which is hardly impossible, then opt for nearby Weert or Wintam as alternatives for endless more Scheldeland fun.

Mechels Broek

This nature reserve in close proximity of historic and culturally attractive city Mechelen lies in what used to be flooding area. Keep in mind its wetland character and wear appropriate walking boots especially in not so dry season. We hiked the shorter, but nevertheless very versatile, AS Adventure trail. Mechels Broek is home to many bird species, Galloway cattle and the typical pollard willow trees.

Willebroek Broek De Naeyer

As the name lets suspect, this former-industrial-zone-now-turned-into-nature-reserve’s characteristics are similar to its above bigger brother, mind your choice of footwear! It lies alongside river Rupel, is a well-known breading zone for cormorant birds and otter and beaver populations can be spotted and may therefore also be a fun hike to consider if you have children.

Antwerp Middelheim ‘beeldenmuseum’/ Park Den Brandt

Art and nature go hand in hand, at least in Antwerp’s open-air museum park. Both above parks are situated south of Antwerp’s historic city centre and do keep in mind weekends can be crowdy. The ‘sculpture park’ is home to around 1800 international works and gives an overview of modern and contemporay art. Ideal to combine with the more romantic Den Brandt Park. The garden combines English cottage garden (behind castle) with more classic French (in front of castle) designs. And on your walk you will stumble onto a replica of Michelangelo’s David. The park is also home to the Jazz Middelheim festival every August (though for obvious reasons not this year). To make your Antwerp green escape complete you can hop into opposite Nachtegalenpark. That’s three parks with just one trip to make, great deal, no?!

Borsbeek fort 3

Obviously our own local touristic region, de Zuidrand, couldn’t be skipped during these months of exploring. With close proximity of Antwerp Deurne Airport this might not seem an attractive hiking trail at first glance, though give it a chance. It is the first, thus oldest, fortress of eight in total built under the Brialmont defense line. You can walk around AND even on the fortress! The underground part is normally not open for visit due to the protected and endangered bat colonies. Oh and if you detect sponges tied onto trees, this isn’t some student or children’s prank, though part of Antwerp University stem research, so ‘leave the sponge alone’! 😉

Grenspark De Zoom/Kalmthoutse Heide

Destination of our most recent trip and with official rating as ‘silence area’ our favourite of this post. The total park measures about 6000 ha and hiking, bike and horse trails flirt with Dutch-Belgian border. Landscape offers a wonderful variation of heath, forests, pastures, pools and dunes. There are different access gates. We explored ‘Squirrel’ and ‘Woodpecker’ trails (access Ruige Heide) near park’s borders in Zandvliet/Berendrecht.

With early Spring vibes chasing last Winter blues away and nature rapidly changing and calling hope the above gave you some inspiration on where to go on your next trips in Belgian Antwerp province.

Feel free to share your most recent hiking t(r)ips!

Ingrid

xxx

https://www.scheldeland.be/wandelen

https://www.natuurpunt.be/natuurgebied/mechels-rivierengebied-mechels-broek-barebeekvallei-mispeldonk

https://www.provincieantwerpen.be/aanbod/dvt/broek-de-naeyer.html

https://www.middelheimmuseum.be/en

https://www.antwerpen.be/info/52d5052239d8a6ec798b4960/den-brandt

https://www.toerismezuidrand.be/nl/attractie/fort-3

https://www.antwerpen.be/info/53ff400fafa8a7c75b8b458e/grenspark-de-zoom

Fall leaves…

…as Fall slowly ‘leaves’ us and opens the chilly door to Winter, time to sit back and enjoy the colourful highlights of past weeks (preferrably in a comfy chair, with some cake and cup of tea)

There were battlefields of chestnuts and colourful magical fungusamongus pop-ups…

chestnuts Fall

Long-legged shadows and lots of patterns and textures…

hydrangea

Tears from heaven with November rain

Short and longer walks (and lots of stopping to take pictures)

…And for those with an imaginative eye nature gives some subtle hints that Christmas is definitely coming!

Enjoy these last days of November!

Ingrid

xxx

And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be are full of trees and changing leaves…

(V. Woolf)