The glittering and trendy city: Antwerp, Belgium

Jewelry Shop

Antwerp is known as a diamond capital of Belgium since 1447, and it is a sturdy diamond center in the world. Known to as one of the large cities in Belgium. It also considered as world number one diamond trader since the beginning of the 15th-century. It had sprung, and the town became Europe’s main trading center in the 16th-century, and it remained the most paramount diamond center till these days.

Astonishingly 86% of the rough cuts diamonds are travels to bring in to Antwerp. That makes Belgium famous one diamonds export products. The city has about one thousand six hundred diamonds traders, and they’re close to each other.

Depending on what you are looking and do in the area; either stroll, shopping, wander or discover the historical center. There is plenty of faux and glamorous space to be seen as well beautiful corners that are home to a few best designer shopping in Europe.

The atmosphere in Antwerp is sophisticated and rational with an aesthetic life twist.

Antwerp’s Interesting places to see:

Antwerp’s Central Station

While strolling via the Central Station, you will reach the Antwerp diamond district ” Diamond Square Mile.” A hued mix of distinctive nationalities that makes its way through the avenue, negotiating from one enterprise to another. It is one of the bustling and engrossing places to wander. Throughout this walk, you will sense that you are in the area of a world diamond center.

Now, Central Station, as mention earlier, this is one attraction of Antwerp, with its historical background and with its impressive architecture designs. This splendid construction on the Astridplein consists of fortifying platform ceiling and a rock station building.The rostrum ceiling was designed dating back 1895 to 1899 by Clement van Bogaert, the roof is 43 meters high, 186 meters long and 66 meters wide. The central station was constructed in 1899 to 1905 by Louis Delacenserie in energetic style.

On August 11, 1905, the station was open to the public, and in 1975 it became a well-guarded masterpiece and from 1986 was assiduously revamped. In 2000 to 2009, the rail line hall was binary in space, including platforms on two subterranean levels. The central station had been voted several times as one of the most appealing in the world, among others by The Telegraph, Newsweek and Mashable.

Stadfeestzaal Shopping Center

One of the most and well-visited shopping center in the city is the Stadfeestzaal, it is situated in the center of Meir. In this shopping center have forty different stores that operate beneath one roof. Perfect for experience for a day out. You can find anything depending on what you are looking, from the latest trends in fashion and retail in a fascinating location. You can enjoy a refreshment in the catering business. This place is ideal on rainy days as well on a summer season.

Antwerp’s City Hall

Another place is the city hall of Antwerp, consider as one of the eye-catchers on the Market Square, with its remarkable building. The city hall named as UNESCO World Heritage in 1999. This hall has a significant cultural influence. Since the sixteenth century, the building has a rich history. There is much admiration for the architecture of this city hall. The Resurgence veneer, dazzling galleries and diverse works of art. The flags hang on the facade are the 28 countries who are members of the European Union, and some flags are countries that have the consulate in Antwerp.

Peter Paul Rubens House

Also, visit and discover the soul home of Peter Paul Rubens, a brilliant and multifaceted artist, where he used to live with his family, friends, colleagues, assistants and his paintings. Wander around his exquisite garden and indulge or revel in the southern ornate of the stately gallery. His palace has inspired many artists and art lovers worldwide for four hundred years and even until to these days.

Antwerp’s Main Shopping Street

Meir is the main shopping street with its distinguished and busy walking and shopping avenue of Antwerp. With its astounding building dated back in 18th to 19th-centuries, you will find many sizable international retail conglomerates.

Thanks a lot for reading.

© 2019 Leonie M.

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God Answers Prayers

Have you experience from an answered prayers? Then this article is for you.

Some circumstances can go wrong in our lives; we intend to give up and quickly get discouraged. There are moments we’re searching for people to trust and to keep our company and then relate any terrible issues we are experiencing in our daily life. However, none of it satisfies us, yes they can help us by listening to it and giving a piece of limited advice, but it is temporary.

In the realm of life, there is no one better to give us a satisfying comfort than God. He controls the universe, and He knows everything that is happening around us. So often, we believe and have faith in God, but when crises arise amid our lives, we easily steep away. Moreover, when God is not there to rescue us, then we become angry, and our belief and faith towards Him drastically change to bitter.

The good news is that even we utter arrogantly towards God; still, He is ever ready to forgive us for what we’ve done wrong. He has blessed every one of us without knowing it because we are busy with what we think that needed the most in this life. Also, tried to do it on our way, yet, again when it doesn’t work, the idea had planned we blame God. There it begins that our thoughts poison us with non-limitations. We are asking why where was God when we needed Him the most!

The avenue in reaching God is through prayer and offer Him your heart. Also, at the same time accepting your Lord and Saviour. Put your trust, faith, hope and love towards God. He is God that can do anything beyond imagination. When you put God to work on your behalf, then everything is going to be perfect, and all you need to do is to give Him thanks and praise. After all, God has the final say.

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have an eternal life.

So quit on doubting, do not think about the disadvantage because when you do, then you are inviting obstacles in your life. So instead of considering having not enough, swift it to God rain down favor from the heaven of abundance over your life. It may seem impossible for you, but God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. When He promises He does it. An example: in the time of Moses, he leads the Israelite people in the desert for forty years to go to the “Promised Land”. The people were thirsty at that time, and they keep on complaining with Moses. Fast forward! God performs many miracles through Moses, to strike the stone to produces water in it, without any source, lake or stream, but upon hitting the stone water came out, so the people have something to drink. Now, maybe you’re telling your self that it is not going to happen, please don’t believe the enemies lies. Instead, keep thanking God for what His about to do in your life. Pray as you haven’t prayed before.

Our part is to pray with our hearts clear towards Him and above all love God. In 1 Corinthians 13:2 – If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move a mountain, but does not have love, I am nothing.

So focus for what you have prayed for and expect it like you have already received it; and when you do not depend on someone else, hoping that will going to help you, thinking as your Savior. God will release His favor into your life in an abundance way. Again, maybe you have prayed for someone you loved dearly for a long time who had suffered from any disease and you long for a healing. Stir your faith and expect that God will free it from that illness.

Mark 5:25-34  Jesus healed the woman :

25. And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood for twelve years,

26. And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,

27. When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.

28. For she said If I can touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.

29. And straightway, her bleeding immediately stops, and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.

30. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?

31. And his disciples said unto him, Thou sees the multitude thronging thee, and say thou, Who touched me?

32. And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.

33. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet before him, and told him all the truth.

34. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace and be whole of thy plague.

God never gives any illness to anyone of us; it is the enemy or Devil who inflicted sickness. The Devil attacks those whom he pleases; like Job in the Old Testament. To remember that Jesus was tempted by the Devil too. However, Our Creator is bigger than any barrier that comes along the path of anybody of us. Stay in faith, hope, trust and love; expect for answers to your prayers.

Thank you for reading!

© 2019 Leonie M.

Pray And Ask Big

When God sets a plan into our lives, He did not just put it just for us to live, survive, and to sustain but instead, He put more than enough for us to reach and meet out our needs, because He is God of abundance and we read this in the scriptures if you read your bible. An example of this is when Christ Jesus multiplied the five loaves of bread and two fishes to feed the massive number of people, and after that, there are still twelve baskets full of leftovers. What interesting is that they know and have counted the people more than a thousand gathers together. And Christ Jesus knew how many people in the crowd that day. However, with God’s mercy with them, He had given more than enough.

In the Old Testament, David said my cups run over. He had an abundance more than he needs it. It is essential for us that we should thank God that the supply of our need met and we should be grateful that we have enough, but don’t settle there because that is not your destiny, it is good that we have enough. But God wants you to have more than enough so that you can be a blessing to those who are around you. It is where the Israelite missed it; they have been to slavery for so many years and had been conditioned to barely not enough.

It took me a couple of years to understand these principles until a dream came to mind. John 3: 16 -For God so love the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall have eternal life. Mark 11:24 – Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. These scriptures became my principles in life.

Take heed and dare ask God for big and be bold but not on the slave mentality. God created the universe for us to enjoy and have a healthy life to its fullest, His grace and love for us has no boundaries, and even when we make mistakes He is ever ready to accept our faults for as long we acknowledge Him as our God and repent for the sins, we have committed. How good is that? That we serve a forgiving God!

Many reasons that take so long to receive what you prayed for it is because God wants your faith to grow. On the other hand, the negativity that you planted in your heart the so-called what if not going to happen. You quickly get discouraged, especially when you wanted it so badly you want it to arrive at the right moment. In Proverbs 3:5-6; Trust in the Lord, with all your heart and lean not on your understanding; (6) in all your ways, submit to Him, and He will make your path straight. So let God your vindicator.

God has something more significant for you that He had stored, ask Him and remind and remember His promises; whatever circumstances you have and are facing in all walk of life. In Joshua 1:9 – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God, will be with you wherever you go. Psalm 37: 4 – Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 50:15 – And call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me. Ask God and pray with boldness about your dream and your purpose; again remind Him his promises; pray as a child does, after all, we are His children.

Experience An Abundance In Life.

Thanks for reading and God bless everyone!

© Leonie M.

Put Your Dream Into Reality

I have a dream that it would make it impossible to attain
Then I stood up in front of the mirror

And heard a voice whispering into my ear
It says continue to dream

For in a dream you continue to live and have hope
So don’t let your hope dies otherwise your dream will die too

So put your vision into reality!

© Leonie M.

Portugal’s spectacular six: planning your visit to the Algarve

Having lived in the Algarve, I find it interesting to share with everyone. The Algarve has many things to offer to its visitors around the globe. I have written previously about a few places and had have published in this site.

The Algarve has long warm spring and summer; autumn and winter are mild, but sometimes the weather is unpredictable with an equal number of wet and sunny days. However, the peak of the tourist season is from July to August. During these periods the beaches are packed, and most of the accommodations like hotels and pension are sold out. The most popular month is from June to September. Nonetheless, the weather is suitable for spending time on the beach is from May until the end of September.

Here are the list of the spectacular six:

1. Vila Real De Santo António
Vila Real de Santo António central square

This town is located at the eastern end of the Algarve. With its large sandy beach and the warm water, this town began to attract visitors around the world since the 1960s, and it becomes one of the largest seashores resorts in the Algarve. In the center of the town stands a steep pillar symbol which indicates the power of the king and his prime minister. The route organized in a structured arrangement as a thick and solid army on demonstration from an elsewhere full square, the veneer of the houses replays the equity pattern of a sedate and discreet building design. And a definition of the 18th-century with wisdom in which Vila Real de Santo Antonio is one of the superb examples. A genial landscape alee and the treasury of the Spanish Guadiana can peek in amidst outdoor veranda which provides a haven of fresh and satisfying reprieve from torridity of the sun.

Santo António beach

Stunning view – Santo António beach

Things to Do: A lighthouse marks the location of this calm family beach with its long sweep of sand – this place is marvelous to explore and experience.

2. Faro
View from the capital city, Faro

Faro is the capital region of the Algarve located in the southern part of Portugal. It is used to be a fishing village Ossonoba dating back in Roman times. Somewhat, since many times the city was destroyed; besides, had experienced a disastrous earthquake that pounds the region in 1755. Most of what you see today is a post-quake though the historic center mostly survived. In 1834 became the Algarve capital. At this present – day Faro became a tourist hots pot for everyone including local akin. It is entirely too many to mention, however, with the high-rises hotels, teeming beaches in summer and scurries shopping square; Faro is a charming modernized city.

The scenery of the town is continually changing in its passing time. Due to the movement of the sands, forming of new sandbanks and barricade, partly due to the changing tide in which turning back and forth the condition that lives in the valley.

Most likely the best thing to do in the city is to ambulate. In here you can see a cobblestoned street channelled with fragrant orange trees, gaudy cafes and old-style buildings; sit down on a patio have a lunch, dinner.
The restaurant, cafes, shopping malls – onward to the sea are lovely and also economical. Sail through the Ria Formosa Natural Park on this 4-5 hour journey start at 9:30 a.m. sight-seeing cruise from Faro channels on a 12-persons start at Catamaran and make a stops at the islands of Armona, Culatra. A multilingual guide operates the tour.

Ria Formosa – Faro
Ria Formosa boat tour – Faro
3. Castro Marim
Castro Marim Village

Castro Marim is a scenic village that views passable distinctive foreign guest. It has a peculiarity; a few restaurants, cafe and also with the monumental fortress. In here you can find a shaded- bench and tree in the center. Castro Marim is famous for its flamingos. Trekkers will find many pleasant streams within the area. There are a few variations of activities in this area; an example: water sports and boat tour. The sea is boundless, to the extent as far as the eye can perceive, and it is peaceful and balmy.

Praia do Cabeço

Praia da Alagoa

Praia Verde

Castro Marim has three beaches, namely:

Praia da Alagoa, well known as a summer holiday resort, stands beside the lengthy sandy seashore and its broad edge of the mountains. Attach to the ocean; wherein the ridge is above, in here you see a myriad of European seagrass, seagull, feathery cottonweed and eye-catching adages.
Praia Verde, it has a sensational panoramic view along the seaboard. Praia do Cabeço; knoll fields prevail the surrounding of this beach with deep-sea pine and the typical hymeneal cover broom flourishing on them.
These once a quiet and pastoral villages shortly realized the rapid influx of visitors from around the globe, bushing their narrow streets and short inlet with a large number of tourists each day.

Things to Do: you can do touring the coast tells more about the sprinkling of the other seashores charms. Also, explore the surrounding area of the town.

4. São Brás de Alportel

A well-known café in São Brás de Alportel

This town is an ancient foot-path used since the Romans time. Besides, it considered as a quiet town. It is also a place whereby you can stroll around the allies. It is where the ( Museu do Traje ), do São Brás de Alportel Encased in azulejos, this beautifully maintained museum occupies a former cork magnate a large house, which keeps its original kitchen. It displays an ever-changing exhibition of a local costume, of which there are 1500 in the museum has had stored. The three free hour tours in the store take place on the last Tuesday of the month. The outside of the building has a presentation on the local cork industry, a vast collection of old carriages, an art gallery hosting regular music events, including fado and cafe. It provides a free guided tour of the path if you contact the center in advance.

Museu do Traje
A costume that exhibits in the museum

Things to Do: you can explore and discover a few attractions in the town area.

5. Olhão
Olhão Market

Olhão is one of the Urban community of the Algarve region located in the southern part of Portugal. The municipality situated in the heart of Rio Formosa. It is also the biggest fishing port with a viable waterfront and beautiful, bustling arteries in its old cottage. Considered as a perfect place to try their delicious and eminently-acknowledge traditional kinds of seafood dishes, such as razor-shell rice, and corn porridge with wedge -shell clams. Olhão is known as one of the biggest markets of fresh products in the Algarve. The towns restaurant standoff the multitude, especially in the morning vegetable and fish market, wherein you can eat, drink and savor the scenery of the island. There is also an outside market on the street every Saturday, selling local goods, accessories and different items that you can choose from such as clothing and a lot more.

The vegetable market of Olhão

Things to Do: as stated, a visit to Olhão is not complete without visiting the municipal market ( Mercado Municipal in Portuguese). The municipal market located on the street Avenida 5 de Outubro – near the waterfront. The markets divided into two fish/vegetables and each with separate red-brick buildings. This complex built in 1915 and it reconstructed in 1997.

You can find all different types of fresh products, such as dried fruits, nuts, dried meat, dried fish and a lot more. You can also do water sports such as canoeing, sailing, windward, and jet skiing.

6. Lagoa
The town of Lagoa

Lagoa considered as one of the most touristic attractions of the Algarve because of that richness in beaches. It has enhanced productively over the past decades regardless of framework and approach, including the quality of water and its surroundings. It also offers a large number of beaches. To name a few beaches that are well visited; Praia Grande, and Praia da Marinha.

The municipality’s town has prospered in sustaining their streets with wacky Portuguese cobblestone, the dazzling, pastoral houses. And with the frilly chimneys and the prowess of the artisan, who create porticoes and ceramics pottery.

Lagoa also is known for its historically fortified wine production, and it has increased its table wine manufacturer in recent years.

Aside from the sea, the surrounding consists substantially of rolling fields planted with clinging plants for as far as the naked eye can view as well with fig and dry orchards of almond and carob.

Things to Do: you can enjoy staying at the Praia Grande – located in the coastal zone of the eastern of Rio Arade, south of the town of Ferragudo. Like any other beaches in the Algarve, it is outskirt by cliffs and also rich in marine. You can also go for snorkelling and scuba diving; there is an undersea trail that you can delve into at Praia da Marinha. Its beauty of the bluff does not just distinguish this beach; it has used globally for an advertising firm for a campaign. And in 2015 it characterized as one of the best destinations in Europe. It also named as one of the top 20 most beautiful beaches in the world by CNN in 2018. Besides, the divergence of marine habitat here is extraordinary — the rocky ambience area with an atoll of numerous types of breakwater, inquisitive octopuses. And so with cuttlefish and the excellent seashore.

Praia Grande, Lagoa

Note: You should keep extra careful with a distance from the cliffs – there is a possibility of rockfalls or stone while walking along the clifftop.

Praia da Marihna

Thank you for reading.

© Leonie M.

Thorn – the white village in the south of the Netherlands

The historical white houses

Thorn – the pretty small white town

The charming meager white village Thorn is located in the south of the Netherlands in the province of Limburg, it is well-known for tourist attraction and it has a well-heeled history dating back in the 9th to 10th-century. The historic town of Thorn is well-guarded. The site is also known for its grand monumental white houses that include cobbled streets and the ( Abbey Church ) now a museum, it is also the municipal museum “Het Land van Thorn”, in Dutch – and that draws the town with countless visitors every year.

The Thorn History

The village
The old houses
List of the Abbey
The view from the church

Over the period Thorn progresses with scaled-down cloister and ruled by prioress and archduchess by patrician creation it had its arbitration and its moola; however, it came to an end at the beginning of the 18th-century upon the arrival of the French. After the 20 noble ladies fled the town to evade by the French, a large number of underprivileged people move to live in the village. The French strong-willed to imposed taxes based on the size of the windows of the houses. Nonetheless, the locals were poor living into a lavish style of living that once belong to the rich people but couldn’t pay taxes. So to reduce the amount of tax, they have to pay, most of the homeowners bricked up their windows and painted into white to hide the brickwork. And that how the village came to white until this day.

Things to do and see in Thorn

The municipal museum of Thorn

If you are in Thorn, you don’t want to miss the Abdijkerk – Abbey church. It is the small town that came into existence. The theatrical was constructed a few times over the centuries, and the in the 10th-century it came to life. It was dated the interior in the 18th-century; with time the Abbey was revamped at the end of 19th-century by Pierre Cuypers, the architect of Amsterdam central station and the Rijksmuseum.

The church, now a museum

Besides, you can also visit the municipal town museum of Thorn. In here you can find historical objects from the village and more ancient history – and aside from that, you can usher a walk with an audio system.

The restaurants

However, when you feel like starving, there are plenty of choices to choose from the restaurant, cafe, bistros, snack shop. International cuisines are also available, such as Japanese, Greek, Italian, and Chinese, to name a few. There are many fast-foods preferences too. To end with – you can also choose between meals, ice cream, pancake and pizza.

An engaging way to visit Thorn on weekends and from (April to September), or daily from July to August.

Thank you for reading!

© Leonie M.

Heppeneert it is Worth a Visit, Limburg, Belgium

There is a sense of anticipation searching for a place to find peace and relaxation, whether you are religious or not; in this article, it tells something about the solemnity of being around this place called Heppeneert.

Saint Getrudis Church, Heppeneert

Heppeneert is located in the Belgian town of Maaseik in the northeast province of Limburg. A friendly village with less than a hundred inhabitants. This village was recognized because of the Parish Saint Gertrudis Church, which was built in 1883, and in here the Blessed Virgin Mary is worshiped as “Our Lady of Rest.”. Moreover, in that same year, Father Aloysius Froyen made the devotion to Our Lady of Rest widely known, e.g. the Parish park has since grown into a place of meditation and equanimity. This suburb it is also a self-governed parish church that has become a busy pilgrimage site this time, because of the group of volunteers in the neighbourhood, who had been active to put their best hoof in front for the church visitors. The pilgrims come to Heppeneert to pray and seek for help to the Blessed Virgin Mary to help them pray to the Holy Father for their mental illness, fear and ferocious issues in life, to yield wisdom into decisions making, and to ask forgiveness for their sins.

I visit the site regularly because of its areas serenity, for me being there it gives the feeling of calmness and to unwind. I strolled around and wandered to the Maria park and have noticed and seen the (Liturgical Description), ” the seven sorrows and seven joys.”. Maria Park, i.e. laid its foundation in the year 1926 by Father Aloysius Froyen, who made the devotion widely known to this day. A place for placidity and rumination. There is a candle chapel too, where you can buy and lit a candle and say your own personal prayer.

Maria Park
Candle chapel

The list of the seven sorrows and seven joys:

  • Jesus committed to God
  • Jesus finds refuge in Egypt
  • Jesus found in the temple
  • Jesus carries the cross of the people
  • Jesus on the cross
  • Jesus was taken from the cross
  • Jesus in the grave
Jesus in the grave – description

The suburb area has a population of less than a hundred as mention above. However, this place has many things that can offer to its visitors, although it’s such a small village. There is a cafe, restaurant, bar, and shop where you can drink coffee, have lunch and dinner, drink beer or wine and can purchase souvenirs, and are located on the one side of the road. On the other hand, there is a weir wall and dyke built by the former volunteers after the floods in the place in 1926, to protect the people from flooding.

The Restaurant in the village
The Our Lady of Rest shop

Considering that this place, the increasing number of visitors were kept coming back in the area, believe that the Blessed Virgin Mary miraculously healed the sick people who come for worship. Virgin Mary’s intercession is mighty in this church; this is why the church is sacred to many adherents. I also noticed that many devotees come from different nationalities.

It is also a place to wander and lull by viewing the nature of the rural area since it is a neighborhood of agriculture.

The village agriculture area

The Church and Candle Chapel Opening Hours:
From November 1 to March 31
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM
From April 1 to October 31 – 7:30 AM to 7 PM
Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 7:30 AM until after the evening celebration.

How to Get There: It is easy to reach by car, foot, bicycle and motorbike from the round road of Maaseik, where the Heppeneert situated – 1.5 km the church is at the right side. Take note that you ride on the one side of the road.

 ©  Leonie M.