Happy Trails

By - August 10, 2005 (Updated: November 30, 2014)

I’ve always been kind of torn on the whole walking thing. I love exploring new places on foot. It’s great for smaller areas because you get to see so much more detail and it’s easier to stop and look around or take a picture.

Amsterdam is one of the best cities to walk in. Everything is so close and there are so many wonderful back streets to explore. If you ask Jenn, she’ll tell you how much I used to walk in A’dam. I think she’s still plotting her revenge for me hauling her all over creation last summer.

Brussels is not such a walk-able city. People may argue about this with me, but I don’t see it yet. True, there are areas of Brussels that are nice to walk around in, but I wouldn’t say that the city as a whole is pedestrian friendly. Besides the shopping areas and the old town centre you don’t see many people on foot at all. I think part of the reason for this is that the city is very spread out and segmented. You may walk around your neighborhood but not to the next one over. That, and the traffic moves very fast here. You have four and six lane streets in the middle of the city. It’s not easy to get around these on foot.

Despite this, I have recently found some joy in walking… just not in Brussels. When Andrew is away, dog walking duty falls to me, and Caesar and I have been exploring Everberg. I always hated walking Caes in Stillwater Lake. There was too much traffic, no sidewalk and nothing but other houses to look at. Everberg is a bit different. As long as you’re not trying to walk at rush hour, there’s not a lot of traffic on the roads, but what’s even nicer, is that you don’t have to walk on roads. There are lots of paths here and one in particular that Andrew discovered is very nice.

We start up a big hill (good to do at the beginning of the walk rather than the end) and head in to a subdivision. At the top of the hill is a dirt road. There are a couple of houses on the road, but it’s mostly trees and fields. Caes loves this walk because we pass by two different horse paddocks and he LOVES horses. I’m not sure what he thinks of them. You can tell he’s wondering what the hell they are and why they are so big. But he is always excited to see them and they seem just as happy to stare back at him. After the horses the path narrows and goes between two fields. You walk through the fields and eventually come back to our street at a farm house. Then we walk back up our street, past some chicken and sheep, which Caes is also very interested in, and then home. It’s an interesting and quiet walk and I actually enjoy it. And, if I do eventually get bored of this walk, there are half a dozen or more different paths to explore in the area.

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Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
- 1 day ago


  1. Comment by Jenn

    Jenn August 10, 2005 at 18:19

    Yeah, I remember the crazy walks. I was ready to kill you during the first 3 days. But by the end of it, I no longer wanted to hop on the first tram we saw. I got used to it and even though we had amazing food and drink during that entire trip, I still lost weight. And I’ve never done that on a vacation šŸ™‚
    But I still don’t know how you managed the cobblestone in high heels. Then again, I’m a klutz in heels to begin with šŸ™‚

  2. Comment by Alison

    Alison August 10, 2005 at 18:23

    years of practice and lots of falling down and swearing šŸ™‚

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