The Shadow of You and Me





Remembering all the good things
That moment that we have spent
That you and I have shared
Memories that will always remain
In my heart as well as yours
That we called to cherish all through eternity
We may seem apart from each other
But will never forget the shadow of you and me .

Wander Through The Historical City of Maastricht, the Netherlands

The City Of Maastricht

Brief History

Maastricht is the capital city of the province, Limburg and its located in the southeast of the Netherlands. Maastricht is the oldest city in the Netherlands.

The historical Maastricht have many things to offer to its visitors around the globe. An example are the following: Sint Servaas Bridge, Vrijthof, the cruise on the Maas river, a wide variety of shops, smooth pavement, cafes, restaurant, theatres, museums, lovely squares, and parks, but not only these diversion that makes the city living but also the people who live in the city which keeps life simply more easy-going. This town is the place for food chains and known too for its culinary.

Things to See Around the Town

Maastricht City Hall

The City Hall of Maastricht

The city hall of Maastricht is standing in the heart of the centre of the town. This building was considered as the oldest in the city and well kept by the developer.

Wednesday and Friday, the city hall is always packed with vendors on market days, and it is also the busiest days of the week. You can purchase anything you need at a reasonable price. When buying stuff of any kind during the market day are a lot cheaper compared to an average working day.

Restaurants promenade at the corner of the market square

Though the fact that the main streets are mostly populated with recognizable high street stores, the combination of paved roads and exceptionally well kept old buildings make the city of Maastricht centre an incredibly classy looking place.

Cruise on the Maas ( River)

Rederij Stiphout

4-Sluitzentocht

If you love touring on the river, I guess this is exciting to experience.

This great Cruise arranges a large number of scheduled cruises that sail agreement to a fixed timetable, such as the ‘Cruise on the Maas,’ the ‘ 4 – Sluitzentocht’, ( the 4- Locks Voyage ) including the passage of the ” Stop van Ternaaien.” With the heights difference of 15 meters, and the memorable day trips to any landing place you wish to visit in the area that includes in their list of the programs. To mention – they offer more than just boat trips and great propositions to fill in your daily schedule.

Sint Servaas Bridge

The Sint Servaas Bridge

One of the ravishing historical attraction of Maastricht is Sint Servaas Bridge, with the old and reindustrialized layout.

History reveals that Saint Servaas bridge is an arched stone footbridge across the Meuse River in Maastricht. That keeps alive the memory of Servatius, the first bishop of Maastricht, and it has been called the advanced bridge in the Netherlands.

The bridge made of limestone, and in its current configuration, it is 160m long and 9m wide. Its seven arches each span approximately 12 m and are supported by seven piers. A separate steel drawbridge with a span of 54.5 L connects the east end of the flyover to the east bank of the river. History says that the Romans built a wooden bridge across the Meuse to what is now called Maastricht, in approximately AD50, and the Latin phrase for a crossing of the Meuse, (“mosaic trajectum,”), the Dutch given name of the city. For many years the bridge survives, but it collapsed in the year 1275 from the weight of massive procession, killing 400 people. It’s a replacement, the existing deck, was built between 1280 and 1298 -centuries. The bridge constructed in honour of Saint Servatius around this time.

Vrijthof

Vrijthof Square

Henceforth about Vrijtof is the most popular and considered as the centre of a beating heart known in the city of Maastricht. In here you find beautiful monuments, the fascinating squares, and lovely charming little streets. From the city walls to defensive reinforcement to remains of the distant Roman past and stately Basilica, and from a characterful part, through a former favela area, to one of the most expensive and exclusive shopping streets in the city. Be enthralled by the personal stories of a local who brings the past and present alive.

Sint Servaas Church

The Vrijthof, most always hosted an essential festival at numerous events at the full length of the year, as well as in autumn and winter celebration. Conceivably one the best appearances of the city that merely to appreciate; The Vrijthof that countenance the extensive St. Servaas Church and The Markt which lineament the Town Hall in the town.

Sint Janskerk Maastricht

As a frequent visitor, there is another significant aspect of the city; they connect significant masses of importance to the supremacy of life, public well-being, and social solidarity. For groups, they have many options for a day, afternoon and evening programs, including a lunch, dinner or moonlight cruises.

Thank you so much for reading.

© 2019 Leonie M.

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.

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.

Five Best Towns to Visit in the Algarve, Portugal

The Algarve is the hidden gem situated in the South of Portugal, and it is the most popular holiday destination and the best-visited region in the country. It is also rich in culture and graced with offbeat a hundred beaches garnering more than four million visitors each year and offering good ambiance to its visitors, like the golden beaches, sea caves scalloped bays, soaring cliffs and the sandy peninsula. This region is surrounded on two sides by the Atlantic. It is wonderland to everyone who first seen the place, and most for the surfers, particularly along with the vitality undeveloped west coast.

This region offers a large tourist hots pots aggregation of holiday villas, hotels and impetuous resorts that filled with loaded activities from water parks to water sport and energetic nightlife, beach bars to blistering nightclubs. The Natural gems include bird-filled lagoons and reef of the protected Park National of Ria Formosa from the West of the capital Faro.

Up to the greenish hills – the historical castle town and ruins of some villages rolled countryside covered in rocks, olive trees, almond trees, and citrus orchards, including farmhouses.

So if you have to think for a place for the gateway, you might consider Algarve as your destination to spend with your family and friends.

Here are the five best towns to visit in the Algarve:
  • Albufeira
  • Lagos
  • Loulé
  • Tavira
  • Portimão
Praia do Pescadores ( Fisherman beach ), Abufeira
Praia do Evaristo, Albufeira
1. Albufeira

It is one of the cities of the Algarve, and it was known as a small fishing village. The town is divided into two parts – ‘ The Old town and the New Town.’ Moreover, The Old Town is four times the size for the Strip or the New Town. The Old Town is situated at the seafront principally a pedestrian area. In here there are vast choices of restaurant bars, and shops. Many bars always have a live band every night, and the most known is the Rock Cafe on the central square. The place is trendy for young people.

Things to Do: Albufeira has many various beaches, one whose close to the town is ‘ Praia dos Pescadores.’ ( Fisherman Beach ) also, in this place you can find a boulevard with lots of restaurants that you can choose from, and many traditional Portuguese cuisines, an example: is the cataplana styled dishes with mixed of fresh plates of seafood in it. Adding to their traditional dish is the (Frango con Piri-Piri ) roasted chicken with spicy sauce, and much more depending on your choice, also including to their menu an international meal.

If you want to stay in a quiet place away from the crowded area, there are many deserted places like the beach Praia da Evaristo, in here you will find a massive formation of rocks and a small natural basin where the children can enjoy playing in the island.

For divest the day away from the beach for the kids go to “Krazy World Zoo.” It is 16 kilometres northwest of Albufeira. In here, kids can play with pony rides, petting farms with goats, deers and a lot more.

How to Get There: You can access Albufeira by cars, buses and trains. From Faro airport to Albufeira can take 37 minutes rides by car. It is not advisable to take a train almost always because it’s stop in the middle of nowhere and it is 7 kilometres from the tourist centre.

Tips: It is a lot better to rent a car because public transportation in the Algarve is so slow. However, if you are not in a rush, you can always take any public transport.

Things not to Forget to Bring:It is essential to bring with you a sun cream, and towel. Sun cream you need when the heat of the sun strike you need to apply first to protect your skin from UV.

Praia do Camilo, Lagos
Praia da Ponta Piedade, Lagos
2. Lagos

Lagos is one of the tourist town attraction in the Algarve with its remarkable discovery, lies along the bank of the Ribeira de Bensafrim. The old town is beautiful, the cobbled lanes, quaint churches and squares are confined predominantly in the fourteen century to 16th-century walls. Apart from the walls is a prevailing but not overly repugnant ramble and some authentically spectacular beaches. The Praia Ponta da Piedade, and Praia da Camilo, with its climatic chunk of the foreland with writhe, flecked sandstone ledge and fortress, integrated with incandescence lights. Surely it is a breathtaking place.

Things to Do: If you do love shopping there are many shopping malls in the town, and it is open from 10:00-21:00 daily except on a Sunday. Also, boat trips run along the coast all year round while personal side trip in inland to Lagos zoo.

How to Get There: You can reach Lagos with cars, trains and buses. But it is much easier to rent a car from Faro Airport to Lagos. If you go by car, it can take a 1-hour drive. Trains and buses are slow and not on time, but it can bring you to where you need to be.

Loulé Market
3. Loulé

Loulé is the largest backland of the Algarve, it is 16 kilometres northwest from the capital Faro. This town is the Arabic inspired tight market upon which they are selling local produce fresh fish. Surround the market it is also busy shopping streets and every Saturday the town is bustling due to both gypsy and farmers market day and loads of tourists. It is also known for its artisan traditions works up to this present time, artisans make copperworks, wicker baskets, and quilting in hole-in-hole wall workshops about towns. This town should not consider a beach holiday because the nearest one is 10 kilometres away.

Things to Do: When you love to go to the local market, then this town is best for you, combined with exploring the whole market place with its old museums and the cobblestones streets.

How to Get There: Loulé can be reached by cars, trains and buses. From Faro airport to the centre of Loule is 16 kilometres drive by car.

Costa do Acantilado, the capital town of Tavira

4. Tavira

Tavira is considered as the charming town of the Algarve. The ruin of the old castle and old Roman bridge and a Gothic-Renaissance church are among its historical attractions, an appealing combination of guesthouses and an impressive restaurants make an attractive base to explore the eastern richness of the Algarve. Digging the prodigious archaeological remains that found on the ( Castelo ) castle dated back from the 8th-century BC through the 8th-century AD, and the exhume has brought to light the part of Phoenician wall circa on 800 BC an ox-tongue partisan altar in the 9th century BC.

It is also quintessential for strolling the street with its beautiful gardens and the shaded square, and it includes stunning beaches too.

Things to Do: Discover the beautiful architecture archaeology of the town and the boat tour. Discover the lagoons and its bird in the Ria Formosa Tavira. In there you can explore and have close contact with nature.

How to Get There: You can access Tavira by cars, buses and trains. Faro airport to the centre of Tavira is 28 kilometres. It is advisable to rent a car.

Praia da Rocha, Portimão
5. Portimão

Portimão it is the second biggest city in the Algarve; sited on the broad of the Rio Arade. Made its living from fishing since the Roman times but around these times it is the most paramount urbanised in the west Algarve. Known for its small airfield and small harbour. And famous for its fresh fish restaurants, grilled sardines is the city’s unique dish. Praia da Rocha beach is one of the best tourist natural attraction in town. To get to Praia da Rocha is 30 minutes walking from the centre.

Things to Do: There are a lot of shopping in the centre of the town if you do love shopping – with any kind examples are decorative objects, jewellery, pottery and many more.

How to Get There: Portimão has a small airport field but not scheduled or regularly feature domestic flights. You can reach the town by trains, cars and buses. Faro airport to Portimão is 71 kilometres away.
Tips: It would be Ideal to rent a car i.e. because as always the bus and train are not on time.


© Leonie M.

The Pros and Cons of living in Belgium

The European Commission in Brussels, Belgium

Have you ever thought of moving to another country? Do you ever consider to move and stay for a more extended period to live in Belgium? Then this article is for you it tells the importance of the pros and cons of living in Belgium.

Pros of living in Belgium
Housing

There is no such difficulty in buying a house in Belgium; it involved awareness, and it is crucial that you have adequate information before going to purchase a home. You will presumably need to take out a mortgage. After signing the notarial deed you own the property officially; on the other hand, you will pay the annual property tax, and you need to pay home insurance too.

Renting an apartment or a house in Belgium it is easy provided that both parties are agreed with the agreement requires. The necessary requirement is a ‘lease of contract’ that should be settled with writing. There must be at least three copies of the ( lease of contract ), one print for the tenant, one for the lessor, and one for the registry office.

Another thing that the Belgium government option is social housing, it is for people or families with a limited income. Social housing is the responsibility of the regions; the conditions in this matter vary from one area to another. There is a specific procedure to follow on this matter, you need to go to the (Openbaar Centrum voor Maatschappelijk Welzijn) OCMW in short for registration purposes, you are being asked to bring a copy from your bank statement and your work contract from your employer to understand your standard of living. After that, you wait for them to call you; they do their best possible way to help those who are in need.



Child Benefits

The Belgium government offers great money to parents in any household; two months before the child is due to be born the mother will receive the amount in the earliest time as a start paying for the child benefits. You can obtain a maximum of six children at the same time as a help for their need until they reach 18 years old. On the other hand, when your child is studying, the following apprenticeship or seeking for work until the age of 25 you are still receiving a child benefits… This child benefits it doesn’t just apply to parents biological children but also for adopted children, stepchildren, foster children and children that are being raised as a parent own. In the case of handicap children, they are entitled to higher payment until they reach 21 years old. The amount of the child benefit will be made every month.

Another instances, if your child is born outside the European Economic Area ( EEA ), your child is entitled to child benefits from the first day of the month of the birth. And if not already entitled to child benefits in another country in accordance to a parents employment with an international institution such as the United Nations; your child receives maintenance in a country with which Belgium has a concluded deal for child benefits. Currently, Belgium has an agreement for child benefits with the following countries: Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and the Former Republic of Yugoslavia; which are not part of the European Union ( EU ). If your child is raised in one of those countries you receive the child benefit from Belgium for a maximum of four children. This is an extra great help to everyone who raises a child for their needs.

Freedom

There is much freedom in Belgium, – freedom of speech is comprehensively exercised by the politician who voices out almost anything that they allowed to say everything. Then there is a right for protesting. When a large group is not satisfied with something, they exercise their rights and start to complain. However, the police officers typically are around to make sure that nobody will get harm when things turn out of control. Usually, when there is a riot, it doesn’t go out of hand.

Also, regardless, of religion, everyone has the right to exercise their own belief with no hassle. The right to be who you are as a person is an expression that you’re free in almost anything.

Infrastructure

The road in Belgium is built on high condition. There are no potholes, half-finished or dangerous roadways. The government has a lot of funds to fix the pavement whenever it seems impossible to drive through it.

Public Transportation

There is much public transportation in Belgium. Trams, trains, metros and buses. Granted that trains and buses are sometimes delayed however they will get you to where you need to be. The prices of public transportation are reasonable, and everybody has a chance to go where they want to be.

Cons of living in Belgium
Language

Belgium has three official languages, namely: Dutch, French and German; the Flemish region all speak Dutch 55% – making the most widely spoken language in the country, followed by the French community, the part of Wallonia 40 %. The least is German spoken official native word. These three languages are difficult to learn and it is very challenging too. Unfortunately, most Belgian communicate in English, so it is easy to be understood.

Racism

However, there is still a lot ( hidden ) racism in Belgium. When you’re particularly at school or on the streets; you might not get an attack, or they may not wail at you, but the racism is there… Racism often happens during job interviews discussing blackface character, Black Pete, short people and so on.

Taxes

Taxes are high in Belgium. The Belgian needs to pay over a lot of taxes.


© Leonie M.

An Ancient Church That Turns To Different Function, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Saint Dominicanen Church it is used to be a place of worship to honouring God, but now it turns to be a bookstore; at first glance, it was sceptical to what I saw outside the church people are keep coming and going. Also, many questions hover in into my head: What are people doing in this generation changing things inappropriate way? So why they are doing this kind of things especially the house of God? Some sort of question that only I can answer. Our world is changing rapidly nowadays and even a church we are using as a dense of a marketplace — a place whereby sacred within the eyes of many believers for Catholic people alike. However, please don’t get me wrong. Well, it is just my perception of what I see around this church.

Saint Dominicanen Bookstore

To give you a short history of the Selexyz Dominicanen Church in Maastricht the Netherlands. Built-in was dating back on 1294 in the heart of Maastricht. It had have changed immensely of use since the time of Napoleon when they invaded his group out of the country in 1794. Since then, it has succinctly used as a parish church, a warehouse, an archive, and a considerable bicycles parking stone shed, and undeniably now into a bookstore. The building consists of 1,200 square meters and shopping floor space of 750 square meters.

Merkx + Girod designed the construction and renovated the church, with the new establishment lofty three-story black steel book heap highlighted up to the stone cellar. The uppermost shelves are attainable by a lift or stationary stairs within the gleam. Plus the structure interior had have won the prize in the year 2007.

Photos of the church now a bookstore

The beautiful ceiling of the bookstore
The third floor of the bookstore
The nave of the bookstore
The children’s book corner
The customers of the bookstore
The magazines area
It used to be an Altar now coffee corner

Upon entering the church, I am in great surprised that I did not expect to see such a massive selection of books. I have visited many places of bookstores but none like this, it is different, and it was utterly amusing. My view had changed as I went farther inside the Dominican bookstore. A few thoughts that have lingered into my mind again answering my questions; I have so much respect to the people who come up to an idea of turning the church into a bookstore though it had have served into various functions in the past.

The entrance of the bookstore at the left side corner you will find choices of selected postcards the arrangement that was organised well while at the right corner you will see the magazine and newspapers section.

I walked around to have a vivid look at every shelf which on display are books lay on it. I noticed that it has a sizeable selection of books across all subjects and a wide selection in Languages. To think of is not just books but also magazines, newspapers and postcards which are available to purchase. I love the scenery of the surrounding inside it inevitability lead you the insight you have been searching.

At the back of the church where the Altar used to be, they installed a cross shape learning table at the centre and a few numbers of chairs along with a contoured bench in it also with a small round table and a stool. While, on the left side, it is used to be a choir area now coffee stand section wherein you can sit on a chair and flip a book while reading, and at the same time having a cup of coffee or tea. I find this area very alluring and eye-catching.

I noticed that most of the customers are a tourist who comes from different places including myself. This place is an exciting place to indulge oneself in learning what the bookstores can offer to all its visitors around the world since it is quite a few numbers of people who keep coming and going and it’s non-stop. I wandered a long time inside the bookstore scrutinizes each shelf in every corner. All books categorized into its distinct use. Impressively well organize.

The bookstore is open every day on Monday at 10:00 am-6:00 pm. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 9:00 am-6: 00 pm. Thursday 9:00 am- 9:00 pm and on Sunday noon – 6:00 pm.


© Leonie M.