A pleasant 12 km circular walk starting from the Castle of Lavaux-Sainte-Anne
The tiny village of Lavaux-Sainte-Anne, near Rochefort in the province of Namur, is famous for its beautiful and well-maintained castle, the first stones of which were laid in 1450. The castle in turn is famous for being a major heritage site of Wallonia. Also, readers who are tennis fans might be interested to know that the castle is where Justine Henin married in 2002.
Lavaux-Sainte-Anne was the destination last Sunday for me and my youngest daughter Suzanna. We had planned a 12 km walk in the morning, and a visit to the cooler castle in the afternoon when temperatures were due to rise to 27°C. This post is about the walk; more of the castle later.
We parked in the castle’s free car park and set off, following the route clockwise:
You can download the route here from RouteYou.
As you can see from the map, it has a nice combination of open fields and hills, with some wooded areas that offered some pleasant shade as the temperature rose. I indicate an alternative path on the map because the footpath was flooded. If this is the case, just walk uphill about ten metres, exactly where the arrow is pointing. You will come to a fence. Walk along the fence parallel to the footpath and you will be OK (see photo below).
The walk is 12 km so can be completed in a morning. We took our time and enjoyed a leisurely picnic sitting on the bridge over the La Wimbe. The route has a slight climb but nothing too strenuous.
All in all, this is a highly recommended walk which, combined with a visit to the castle, made a full and very enjoyable day out for Suzanna and I.
I will write about the Castle of Lavaux-Sainte-Anne in my next post.
The Orchid Man, Roger Grier
I would just like to pay tribute to someone I never met but whose knowledge of wild orchids was immense. He has helped many people over many years identify wild orchids, either in the field or via photos sent by email.
I recently asked him to confirm identification of the orchid above, and was upset to hear from his wife Mary that Roger passed away on 2nd December 2017, aged 80.
However, Mary herself confirmed it was an Early Marsh Orchid. She also sent me a poem that Roger had written about marsh orchids. In memory of Roger, and as a thank you to all the people he has inspired over the years, I reprint it below:
Now this orchid is one of my favourites
It ‘stands-out’ from all the rest
Its colours are so vibrant
No wonder it’s one of the best
It does stand very upright
Its leaves are upright too
Do take notice of the stem
Hollow all the way through
Tiz found in bogs and damp places
There may be many… or just a few
Pay attention to the colours
Some are nearly white, tiz true
It’s one of the four ‘Dactly’ orchids
And there be three others
They do a lot of courting
Don’t ask who be their Mothers
The hybrids that they produce
Are fabulous and brash
Don’t ever bet on their parents
Cos you’re sure to lose your cash
The three others that make up this group
Contribute to my ‘Fab Four’
Their offspring are mind boggling
But beautiful for sure
But the pure Early Marsh
Is a pleasure to be seen
It stands out from all the rest
Its foliage that ‘special green’