This is where Andre Rieu, the musician lives, looking over the river Meuse, and under the bell tower of a nearby church. The slope of Mount Saint Peter is long, kilometers long from Maastricht all the way crossing the Belgium border. It is a natures paradise with flora and fauna that can not be found any where else in the Netherlands, and a paradise for trotters. The sheppard and his sheep, his border collies, and the marl mine of Enci (the first Dutch cement industry) the only one, since there is no more marl then here in the South of Limburg.
Paths, marked and unmarked, fences that switch open, but close the meadows to keep the cattle in, and signs all over: Walking only allowed within the paths, but these signs are not for me, the explorer of the hills, who starts trotting early on the day, armed with water and lunch.
These slopes are also covered with rich houses, old defending farms, for those who can afford it to live in a nature reserve. And who can not? Just buy a tent and put it somewhere in the grass, to see how long you will be left alone. Not even for five minutes, I guess, that is how crowded it can be up here, especially on a sunny weekend afternoon.
A guarding dog, lazy in the sun on a bench, just watches me sleepy, doesn’t even take the effort to bark, and that is where he is here for, that is the purpose why they have him and feed him, but the dog does not understand. He thinks that the bench is his, that he owns the house and surroundings; the whole area if it is up to him; that is why he is a dog, the guardian against all treats, which I am apperently: He does not know me...
There is a wall around Rieu’s castle; he loves his privacy when he is home, just like myself. I neither do not want everyone snooping around my private parts, not even while walking the hills... Just leave me alone, walk alone and take snapshots as a memory, but why? Also without I will remember the hills that I know for ages. But it changes slowly, like everything does on this earth, and maybe that is why; to look back on these changes in years.
It is early February; Winter it should be, but the meadows are green, flowers bloom; not many yet, but still, and the sun is warm walking out of the shades. The church bell tels, a tiny sound that fades away over the river valley, and I see no-one entering the catholic temple. People do not believe anymore, they complain, but where does one have to believe in? Perhaps in the sheep on the ridge, or the leaveless trees, the rich blooming soil, the nature that created us, that supports us; without we would not be. And nature was long before us, will be there, long after we are gone. That is nature, stronger than any element within, even if we believe that we are the toughest.
Shades drop while entering the small forest that is left of the once mighty woods. That was long before us; I never saw them, just the leftovers that mankind left for me to see. If I had Wells’ timemachine I would defenitly use it and look for myself there where now the dog-walker lets them out, after she brought them by car, and it is also my time to walk; home if I want to reach it before dark. It is still Winter. Days are short…