Hike and Seek (and birthday treat): Damme

A picturesque little town, open polder landscape, plenty of restaurants, historic and cultural heritage and the proximity to both Belgian coast and Bruges. This all blends into a tasteful cocktail if you ask me… Cheers to another year!

Hard to imagine this small sleepy town was once all buzz and trading acitivity acting as a front port for mighty Bruges during the Middle Ages. The ‘Eighty Years’ War’ between Spain and the Netherlands left its trace on the region too: many towns and villages were fortified and walled, including Damme. If you are not afraid of heights climb up the 206 steps of the church tower for an overview on the star-shaped city walls (17th century) and surrounding landscape. Plenty of hiking and biking trails to explore at your own pace. A boat ride with nostalgic ‘Lamme Goedzak’ brings you to Bruges in half an hour. Enough time to sit back, relax and watch the polder landscape float by.

We had a lovely dinner at Lamme Goedzak restaurant. The chefs, father and son, serve a refined daily-fresh cuisine and there’s a cosy outside seating area.

Lamme Goedzak is a character in the novel ‘De Legende van Uilenspiegel’ and features as the side-kick with whom Damme-native Tijl Uilenspiegel has many adventures.

For a more casual vibe and lively buzz you can opt for De Smisse, where we had a tasteful lunch.

During this little two-day trip we also explored Zwin Dunes and Polders nature reserve at nearby Knokke-Heist.

From seaside to Damme is only a 20′ drive by car. From North Sea blues to inland greens, best of both worlds…

Evening sets in and the sunset glow that warms Damme creates the perfect idyllic background to reflect on a wonderful stay…we’ll be back!

Do join me next time when looking back on passage of the Tall Ships in Antwerp and we are in full prep mode for a trip to French Opal Coast so that’s also in the blog’s pipeline.

Ingrid

xxx

https://www.visitdamme.be/en

https://www.natuurenbos.be/zwinduinen

https://delammegoedzak.be/MenuLG

Tervuren pop-up memorial…

Tervuren poppy installation

Until 11th of November the former Panquin barracks at Tervuren, Belgium, near Sonian forest, are transformed into a World War I memorial and peace site.

Tervuren poppy installation

 

Landscape architects Sven Vangodtsenhoven and Hans Tuerlinckx of Art-Ex designed a 100-metre long path that consists of two parallel walls of stacked wood logs. All this with the intention to create the impression of a trench when walking through. Both ends of the logs are painted vibrant red with a little black dot, referring to the remembrance poppy and symbolising the many victims of the Great War.

Tervuren poppy installation

Into the niches between the logs, messages of hope and peace can be put, though we didn’t see that many at our recent visit…did they get blown away by the wind…who knows? Still two and a half months left to fill up the blanks with messages!

 

Tervuren poppy installation
path towards barracks and Tervuren city centre

At ‘Hoefijzerplein’ (the square has the shape of a horseshoe) the path is surrounded by a mowing field of grain and ‘popping-up’ poppies, a mix of styled artificial ones and the real ones. At the end, the path is slightly elevated overlooking St-Hubertus chapel and the ruins of the former ducal palace as well as Tervuren’s park and ponds.

Tervuren poppy installation

 

Fyi, four years after the barracks were abandonned the site will get a new destination: the buildings of architectural and historical interest will be respectfully restored and integrated in a multi-functional zone: housing units, hotel, green area and room for cultural events,…

As the site borders Tervuren park and ponds you have an excellent excuse to have that short, or longer, nature walk…

 

Tervuren park

Proximity of the Royal Museum for Central Africa is an asset. The site has been under restoration for years but we’re near the finish line as it will re-open its doors 9th of December 2018. Until then, no one keeps you from admiring the stunning neo-classical style building and adjoining gardens!

Africa museum Tervuren

Hope you enjoyed this little stroll through Tervuren, where nature meets city, past meets future and green meets red 😉

Ingrid

xxx

 

ps Special thanks to Eddy, @edandhiscamera on IG, my travel companion for the day and fellow photographer.

Visit Tervuren

Tervuren Park

Africa museum Tervuren