30 May 2011

The Giant's Tomb.

Le Tombeau du Géant, Belgium. May 2011.

I spent the past weekend with a bunch of friends in the Belgian Ardennes, in a former water mill near the river Semois and a site called 'Le Tombeau du Géant' (the Giant's Tomb).

It is one of the most beautiful and unspoilt parts of the country, and very special to all of us. Some of my friends have been going there for over 20 years, and are still as much in awe as the first time.

I'd been looking forward to this weekend for a while. After a busy few months, I needed some time away from my computer with nothing but good friends and my Kindle for company.

Two days later, I've come home with sun-kissed skin (sun-nibbled and sun-bitten here and there), recharged batteries and a brain buzzing with the remnants of laughter and good conversation.

Of course, being me, I can't help pondering the paradox of wanting to go to places that are wild and virtually untouched by mankind, while by going there, we touch them - inevitably.

However, there are ways of being a respectful visitor, and I count myself lucky to have found so many people who understand this and try to live it.

Here's to friendship, laughter and heart-warming, mind-blowing beauty!

What are your favourite places to unwind?
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  1. Lovely post.
    I like to unwind in warm weather and flip flops.

  2. Gorgeous! I love those types of place - wild, untouched. There is a special magic that cleanses, refreshes, and stimulates all the creative juices.

  3. Beautiful photos. I love natural places like this. There are several places in New Mexico, where I live, that feel sacred and precious. One is Ojo Caliente, a natural hot springs. The other is Acoma, Sky City, a city of stone built high on a mesa by the Anaazi in about 1200 A.D.

  4. Beautiful. So lush and green. We have beautiful mountains here, but they never green up quite like that.

    I used to work as a naturalist in a state park, so I totally get the whole "hands off" approach to visiting natural places. I had to bust a woman once for picking mushrooms. Really, you weren't allowed to take even a stick. Probably a good policy. If you let every visitor take one piece of the park with them when they went, there'd be nothing left of it for anyone else.

    And, Karen, I've been to Sky City/Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico. It is amazing.

  5. @Munk: flip-flops are of vital importance! :-)

    @Holly: so well said; that's exactly how I feel. :-)

    @Karen: Ojo Caliente and Sky City sound wonderful. Such a big world and so little time to visit it all. :-)

    @L.G.: I smuggled a stone out of a national park once, knowing full well I shouldn't have and why. I still feel guilty about it.

  6. What a beautiful place!

  7. What beautiful photos. I love anywhere beside the sea. I live near the countryside, but I always prefer the days I'm walking along beside a river or shore. Never for sunbathing, as I don't like the heat!

  8. Everything on your post looks pretty darn near perfect. The greenery scenery, the building, the ambiance. I like your choice.


  9. What a beautiful place and I love the name of it. Glad you didn't run into any snow. Wish it would warm up this way so I could get sun bitten.

  10. @V: totally :-)

    @Rosemary: me too. There's something about the sound of water rushing past that is so soothing!

    @Manzanita: 'pretty darn near perfect': that describes it well. :-)

    @Mary: it's the perfect name. You can see the giant's face quite well in the first picture, but it's more obvious when you're actually there.


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