Bike ride via chapels

Took the camera with me, but the batteries were flat, so these are tourist website photos.

I determined to strike east and then south from our village, but realised that I had got confused in the woods and gone more southeast than I intended when I emerged in Vaalbeek, right beside the Chapel of St Mary Magdalene:

Its oldest parts and decorations are 16th century, but it was extended in the 18th and again in the 19th centuries. There were people inside preparing for the annual open-air religious rites on the fourth Sunday of July. (Why that date? 22 July is the feast of St Mary Magdalene.)

That was probably a shortcut: I pressed on along the main road, passing a monument to some Belgian sappers killed while clearing unexploded German mines in 1946, and reached my goal, the Chapel of St Theresa in the middle of the woods:

This rather intriguing shrine dates from the 1930s, built in gratitude for the miraculous healing of a boy from the village of Nodebais a few km to the south. I know no more details than that. It was, sadly, closed up.

I came back through the forest, fidning it surprisingly easy going, and before I had expected to reached the Chapel of Our Lady of Steenbergen:

Built in 1652, protected by a local fraternity and by the state: they are gearing up for the candle-lit procession around the pools of Zoetwater (sweet water) on August 15th – this is also where the Beltane ceremonies took place.

And so back home. About 13 km, I reckon, and surprised by how well my body seemed to take it. Though I still needed a nap after lunch!

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