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donderdag 14 november 2013

Snapshots of bumpy roads

One hour a day, but often I walk longer, don’t want to stop because I like the hiking and want to see what’s behind the next bend; but I know I have to walk back as well, not the same track, but still I have to reach home again...

Most people believe the Netherlands are flat which is true for the majority of the country, but not this part where I live. This is a bumpy hill-side; left over of an ancient sea from before mankind walked the earth. Marl hills about 170 meters above sea level; not very high, but when you are climbing up and down after a while you will feel your legs.

The old marl exists from the Cretaceous Period and is build from tiny sea-creatures which are still recognizable when digging in the hills. It’s easy to find fossils here, and in the past I brought them back home with me when I frequented this area while living in Amsterdam. The hills took shape because larger and smaller waterways searched its way down to the sea and so worn out the valleys which are characteristic for the region.

Yesterday I went to Saint Peters’ hill (St Pietersberg), the highest summit, and a well known nature-park why a lot of people go there on a sunny day. It is more lonely to walk the other hills, which I mostly prefer; to be feeling in nature with no-one in sight; just alone with the trees, the plants and animals that live here; climbing a stony path up towards the Belgian border which is only recognizable because of the border-stakes planted there in the 18 hundreds, just after the southern provinces decided to free themselves from Holland.

Also this area belonged to Belgium for a while, but there were to many economical motives involved why Belgium had to give back this part. Otherwise the whole of the Netherlands had been as flat as a pancake, and I was probably born as a Belgian, and not as a Dutch...

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