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Nederlands (Dutch)Xhoffraix 2011

On Saturday morning we buy our new car, and for the rest of the day we remain in shock because of that enormous purchase. That night Laura sings a solo-song in a concert by her choir Ludi Cantare.

We pack on Sunday morning and leave at around a quarter past ten. It will be our last holiday with the Citroën AX. From Maastricht on I drive instead of Laura, and at around a quarter to one we arrive in Xhoffraix, a village near Malmedy in the Hautes Fagnes. We have rented an appartement in the house of a family of four.
     After the lunch at the table outside we walk out of the village. As soon as we leave the village behind us Laura lies down in the street. The road is a dead end. There is no-one to be seen and the weather is hot.


our house

Our house in Xhoffraix. We rent a part of the second floor with a terrace. Click the photos for enlargement.


surroundings

The surroundings.


Laura rests

Laura rests.


Afterwards we walk back into the village. We find a small restaurant near the village square, which appears to be a large lawn with a small playground, and we sit down on the terrace. After a while we decide to dine here as well, and I walk home to fetch our vests. On the way there I see a Citroën Traction Avant standing next to the lawn. We have steaks for diner.


blossoms

Blossoms on the terrace.


blossoms

Blossoms.


Citroën Traction Avant

Citroën Traction Avant.


living room

Our living room, as seen from the attic.


living room and kitchen

The living room and kitchen, as seen from the front door.


On Monday we sleep in. Laura goes out and buys bread and cheese at the local shop. After breakfast we drive our car to Malmedy, using a road with lots of forests and meadows close by, and lots of sharp curves and steep slopes.
     Malmedy is beautiful. It is quiet, and there are many grand mansions, often with little towers. We look at a large church. We drink some on a terrace but the music there soon drives us away again. We do our shopping at a Turkish greengrocer, a butcher and a grocer, and afterwards we drive back.
     In the afternoon Laura is reading outside, and I go for a walk in the surroundings. A dead end street leads me from the village all the way down the mountain to the small river in the valley. I sleep late in the afternoon, and that evening we eat pasta.


Laura

Laura.


bird

A bird.


Laura

Laura in Malmedy.


factory and blossoms

Factory and blossoms.


dome in the roof of a church

Dome in the roof of a church.


tower

Tower.


Laura

Laura on our terrace.


blossoms

Blossoms.


pine-trees

Pine-trees on a steep slope.


surroundings

Surroundings.


tree

Path alongside a tree.


trees

Trees.


forest through a wide-angle lens

A forest, photographed through a wide-angle lens.


bridge over the river

On a bridge over the river.


river

River.


On Tuesday the weather is less beautiful than the preceding days. It is clouded, and apart from sun we also see rain and sometimes even hail. We drive in our car around the area northeast of Xhoffraix, which is also German-language Belgium and the Eifel in Germany. Further away from Xhoffraix the surroundings look less wild, less steep and more slanted, with more meadows and less forests.
     We have lunch in Prüm in Germany, in a restaurant that looks like a living room. I have smoked trout and Laura has a Strammer Max. Around six o'clock we return home, and for diner we have the leftovers from yesterday.


lamb of God

Laura is petting one of God's lambs.


Laura walks

Laura walks.


surroundings

Surroundings.


our car

One of the very last photos of our Citroën AX.


On Wednesday the weather is sunny again. On the top of the container for recyclable goods there is a small portion of ice. We try to find back a nice spot we found yesterday to go and walk there, but we end up at the lake of Robertville. We have a quick look around and then drive to the lake of Bütgenbach, that has a deserted train station without any railway tracks. We walk around the lake to the barrage.
     Afterwards we drive on to Monschau. There are very few people there, and hardly any tourists. It is a beautiful little city. We have pie, and we visit a shop with patience-games and buy some.


lake

Lake.


waiting for the train

Laura is waiting for the train at the train station of Bütgenbach.


train station of Bütgenbach

The train station of Bütgenbach seems somewhat deserted.


lake of Bütgenbach

The lake of Bütgenbach.


Laura

Laura.


bird of prey

Bird of prey.


bird of prey

Bird of prey.


vanished railroad tracks

Vanished railroad tracks.


antitank barricade

Antitank barricade at the frontier between Belgium and Germany.


Monschau

Monschau.


Monschau

Monschau.


On Thursday we have a long walk in the forests and along the brooks around Xhoffraix. Laura's sense of direction leads us in a wide circle around the village, through woods and along rocks and small rivers.


Malmedy

All roads lead to Malmedy.


forest

Forest.


slate

Laura near slate.


looking up a tree

Looking up a tree.


river with a forest path

River with a forest path.


Laura and a rock

Laura and a rock.


Laura crosses the river

Laura crosses the river.


tadpoles

Tadpoles.


dandelion

Dandelion.


forest with river

Forest with river.


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