Guided walks…the fun kind…

Mechelen colourful facades

Walking discoverer or discovering walker, call me what you want…always great exploring a familiar city with a new set of eyes. That city is Mechelen, situated south of Antwerp, Belgium, and when I mention ‘guided city tour’ some of you probably start to sigh…now hold it, not just any random dull tour. It’s called the ‘fun tour’ ( plezante wandeling in Dutch) for a reason…

City Hall

Ferre and Rudi are experienced city guides, when you have been enthusiastically guiding people around for more than 30 years, I think you’ve earned that title, right?! The ‘fun tour’ is normally only open to groups however each year some days are reserved for individuals, as was yesterday evening and together with my friend Birgit I joined in.

In about 2,5 hours Ferre and Rudi take you around their city, with covered distance limited (1,5km). Their approach mixes street theatre, cabaret, poems, jokes and documented stories, everything told/sung in juicy local dialect.

‘As gao paost da dɘ paos an ao paost’ (local dialect, the fun factor would go lost in translation, sorry)

Without giving away too much (in case you want to take part in a tour yourself) you’ll learn more about why St-Rombouts cathedral has darker colour on top, the link between Charles V and pub ‘Den Beer’, the odd sculptures on city hall facade and why locals eat sweet pastry called ‘Astridjes’.

cathedral Mechelen Flanders

Black and white cathedral
Mechelen colourful facades
Known as ‘de Duiveltjes’ (little devils)

 

As the charm of the tour consists of the fact of it being in local dialect, it is not offered in English. However, as often, when stepping on foreign ground, some words in local tongue are always appreciated, so start practising 😉 Need help to get familiar with the local sounds and how to keep your driver’s license at the same time? Dialect Mechelen

Did you know there are even special courses to learn the dialect?

How about where you live? Is it encouraged to speak local or regional language?

Ingrid

xxx

 

Plezante Wandeling

Visit Mechelen

Cow models and diva attitudes…

Weekend approaching fast and some fun intermezzo is allowed, right?! Those of you who read my previous post already know we spent a lovely week in beautiful sunny Simmental, Switzerland. During our usual daily and evening walks one sound always accompanied us, being close or somewhere remote in the distance: the Swiss cow bells…oh, and do not mistake, when close-by, these beautifully manufactured bells make decibel metres explode and your ears pop! No cow bells without cows and must say some were pretty anxious to hit the spotlights!

Swiss cows

“Holy cow, is she taking pictures? I want in, I want in…”

Swiss cows

“Ok, switching positions now…”

Swiss cows

“I want to be on cover this issue…no, I want to be…noooo, I want to be…move over”

Swiss cows

“Strike a pose?! Can’t you see we’re naturals!”

 

Enjoy the weekend!

Next time will take you around wineslopes of Spiez at stunning Thunersee, so stay tuned!

Swiss cows

Ingrid

xxx

A touch of frost

Any leftover cranberries after the festive season? Always fun to sugar-coat them…

3
sugar-coated berries in a row

Make a syrup of sugar and water, turn off the heat, add the berries and let them soak at least a couple of hours or overnight.  Point is to reduce the extreme sourness of the cranberries.

4
Cranberries in syrup

Then drain using a colander and make sure to keep the liquid as you can still use that when making cocktails!
Dry the berries lightly with a paper towel, they shouldn’t be completely dry, otherwise the sugar won’t stick.

Time for the fun part! Pour some sugar in a bowl, add some berries and toss them around until coated. Do not add too many berries at once, it will make the sugar clump and that’s not what you want at this point.

Leave them to dry on a rack or plate and that’s it!

5

2

 

I used mine decorating a chocolate mousse and added some in my morning oatmeal bowl.
 

image1

Sweet, sour and frosted instant happiness!

 

Ingrid

X