In various places inside and outside the villages the old farmhouses proove the agricultural rich past as well as present. The typical Limburgian farmhouse consists mostly of a front building behind which the stables and help-quarters are built in the form of a square. In the innercourt one could store food, carriages etc. and also do various activities for the catlle (horse shoeing, cleaning). There are many left, also around Jeuk.
You can't miss it ... it sticks out above everything else and is visible from over several kilometres. Driving through the Haspengouw you quickly will notice that villages are visible from an enormous distance as for their church-towers. The peak out over the houses and hills and point out where the village is in which the are situated. This also with Jeuk, where in the village-centre the Saint Joris sticks it's slim tower up in the air and keeps track of time by telling everyone what time it is around the hour (bim - bam - bom). In the morning it still calls out for the mess and the door is always open. Go and have a look inside and feel the serinity of the simple churches that are everywhere. Churches in the villages and towns ... chapels in the fields. Limburgians were and are a religious people.
Best way (and the next time we will do so) is to go here by car and bring the bikes along on the back. The Haspengouw is very suitable for biking. Walking is also a thing that can be done in both short as well as long-distance varieties. There are many routes and guidings available.
It gets a little disturbing when one drives through Belgium, but it's something that is inherated from the past. Belgium actually doesn't exist in that powerful sense. There are now the federal states:
Flanders (Dutch-speaking provinces West and East Flanders plus Antwerpen, Limburg and Flanders-Brabant)
Wallonia (French-speaking provinces Liege, Luxemburg, Namur, Wallonian-Brabant and Hinnaut)
Area around Eupen (German-speaking)
Brussels holds a special place, being officially two lingual but letting the French slowly take over the place (until my utter annoyance).
Driving on the freeway from Liege to Brussels, one crosses several times the lingualborder and should keep in mind to suddenly speak differently. On either side of this border there's strange behaviour towards one another (as well as there are peole who just act normal and speak both languages fluently). Roadsigns are not there, taken away or in different names (Luik / Liege ... Antwerpen / Anvers ... Namen / Namur... Tongeren / Tongres etc.). This is very confusing for most tourists, so beware of this and learn both names, when you go driving along this lingual border.
I hope that both nations will put aside there pitty differences and just write both the name as it is written in local speach. Liege, Antwerpen, Namur, Tongeren). But I am afraid that it will take a long time until the childish play of adults is stopped.
Frank Forier welcomed us with three beers in the firdge that oroginate from this area. He later in the garden explained about who the beer was named after (a baron that did a lot to unite Belgium), while I was enjoying this lovely cool beer. We didn't have much time in the garden, but the talks that we had were so nice. Thanks Frank, Ingrid and also there kids Arno and Marie that played with Ilja together.
It's all quite off the beaten path for the average world-traveller. But if you have the time then enjoy these places, where the actual Belgian live and brew their famous beers as well have their cosy familylives. Where a Belgian horse is still in the fields working hard as well as a guy does the administrations of the company on his pc. Go here and take the bike to drown in the peacefulness of this part of the world. Relax and let go of the stress of where-ever you come from. And there's a lot to discover here. A lot to see and learn. It's always these secret hidingplaces, where the most surprises are to be found.