belgiumWe arrived last night in Achel, Belgium at Henk Van der Wiel’s.

It was comforting to see familiar faces on the evening of our arrival – Andries, Annamique, Margo, and Henk.  Before even unpacking, we started to look for a local restaurant for dinner.  Oh, oh!  It is Wednesday in Achel;  most everything is closed.  (It is no wonder that our USA is the most productive country

in the world.  We stay open for business for 24 hours.) After three stops and one phone call, we headed for the Achel Pizzeria, which we were told was open.  It was like a beacon in the night.  David dropped us off and we proceeded to have delicious soup and great salad.

The balmy weather of the daytime brought on thunderstorms in the evening, so the rain precluded us from walking back to the apartment.  A quick call and Andries came in an old mini bus that I used to own.  Used as a workman’s truck, it looked a bit shabby but was still running with 155,000 miles on the odometer.

 

The morning sun streams into the tall windows that line the east side of our large second floor apartment, positioned just above the harness shop.  The early morning village traffic can be seen as we look below.  The best part of the early morning is the birds that sing  so loudly they wake us each morning.  The air here is fresh, and for now the temperatures are mild; so we can leave our  windows open all night.  The birds sound like they are in the

apartment.

 

Today was consumed with detailed planning of which carriage driving events we will attend and discussion of where we might find the best horses for the money.  It looks like we may be headed to Spain and not Hungary.  Most places hear an American voice, and we are charged double.  Let us hope Spain has good prices, since their beloved Andalusian horse is fabulous for driving.

 

We headed to the bank and then the market in Valkenswaard, Netherlands just five meters to the north.  Hair cuts and shopping were in order after eating their delightful white asparagus soup, a specialty for this time of year.