Dinant river front, Belgium

Outlook to the Meuse

Tribute to the creator of the Saxophone

Dinant biscuit, Honey and hardened

Ruins and country home

Summer day in Belgium

Sat 11 Aug 2012
Unbelievable weather here today. Perfect for a picnic... and thus it was. Be sure to wear good walking shoes for a day out in Belgium, not flip flops - there is so much to see in a Wollonian castle marathon.

As the adventure started with lunch it was first up to some ruins for an outlook over Meuse the the rolling hills that feature Southern Belgium. The landscape and meandering roads are simply beautiful on a summer day, with the frequently enclosing forest ways following streams and passing small collections of community.

From the ruins you can go to a small village with the strangest religious display I have ever scene. Constructed at the start of the 20th century the religious grotto bares little resemblance to the world's most famous grotto... at the Playboy Mansion :)

This one has religious scenes depicted in oversize statues and sculpture, surrounded with rocks set in the most astonishing form.

Just below this site, is a small castle, bordered by moat. Upgraded goodness knows when, it is now topped with a German style house that defies style and architectural norms.

Onward to Dinant, Belgium, famous as river crossing town with a very chequered history, it is also the birth place of Mr Sax himself. The son of an instrument maker himself, ol' Saxy is credited with the most recent popular musical instrument invention, the Saxophone. Some reading reminds, how dirty that industry can be. Despite his success and credits, he was twice made bankrupt defending his patents against critics that suggest he stole musical valve designs from elsewhere.

Never mind that, he would turn in his grave at the boom boom from the techno dance bowl created in the city centre this day. The beauty of the river, cathedral and overlooking fortress was endlessly disturbed by Doof Doof punctuated by a techno version of Goyte's "Somebody that i used know" that is playing all over the world right now. Originally discounting Gotye's music on Youtube, his 9 piece concert at Woodford 2011 turned me 180 degrees to be a big fan with his conceptually different arrangements and haunting voice no doubt the core of his International success. I wish him all the luck counting the money.... So far, all countries have made me listen, Malaysia, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium.

Dinant's lead onto some other ruins - overlooking someone's lovely country home. So many grand reminders of past nobility and wealth. I guess back then your display of wealth was somewhat limited. I mean, there were no private jets to be purchased, and a super yacht was impractical for inland owners, so the castle and a stable of fine horses was about it.... today, ALL the first world live in a way that would make the previously wealthy turn in their graves with envy... and its prudent to pause and consider that.

Next up was an Abbey location of sizable impression. You could see that early religion in Belgium identified ways to keep the congregation coming back for more... they produced beer! and it seems that the income was so great, that they could afford the greatest constructions for housing monks and nunns in great numbers. The grounds that I visited were still very active as a boarding school, with the beer brewing happening right next door. Very convenient and relatively transparent display of commercial income connected with education.

Finally, the day was passing and one final stop at Namur where another river meets the Muese for another outlook from the cliff top fortification over one of the regions largest cities. Some light reading confirmed that this too was a city that had seen virtually every war in Europe pass through, with WWI and WWII deviating the centre and demanding a rebuild after. Set against the disappearing sun, you could almost hear the cannon fire. Belgium and its chequered past... if you have an army, you should be sure to match through and join the esteemed ranks of Wellington, Napoleon, Montgomery, Eisenhower, Paton, Bradley and Adolf....

Its little wonder that Belgium people are so nice and embody their country with word "compromise", heavily armed hoards have been using their country as a frontline for years, likely with the locals ushering them on with "The bad guys? They went that way ->"

John Nayler

Digital Marketer. Sailor. Speaker

John Nayler

Brisbane, QLD

0407 15 13 11

John Nayler

In a world where it is critical to cut through the noise and stand out, John Nayler quietly delivers significant competitive advantage through an in-depth knowledge and intense fascination with content, information and the digital world. Describing his first contact with the internet in 1998 as ‘Love At First Sight’, John successfully created the laptop lifestyle before it was a buzzword, growing a highly regarded digital and media agency, inventing and commercialising products, and launching niche magazines, from aboard his boat in the Whitsunday Islands – one of the most sought after island locations in the world. Competitive advantage is a hard-contact, tactical game which can be won or lost in the digital space. John’s education and commitment to his field, and experience at the forefront of marketing and management in the IT space, delivers an innate understanding of how to position, communicate and leverage to deliver improved visibility, lead flow, and ultimately drive sales and profitability.