Monday, October 18, 2010

Werewolves in Ardennes

We just got home for our weekend in beautiful Ardennes. Jaap's sister, Mieke, and brother-in-law, Willem, organize a weekend getaway to the Ardennes region of Belgium each year. Jaap used to go before moving to New York and this year I got a chance to go!

It's only 45 minutes from Maastricht and yet the terrain is so different. I really felt like we were far from home. Ardennes is known for its beautiful forests, mountains, and rolling hills and encompasses an area of Belgium, Luxembourg, and I believe France. Ardennes is also well known because it's the area where the Battle of the Bulge occurred during World War II. 

Mieke and Willem's friends have kept this weekend getaway a tradition for several years now. It reminded me of our Catskill group traveling to Cape Cod every year for Memorial Day weekend, but a little more rustic and a lot of more organized. Haha. It made me think of all my friends and the crazy traditions we have. Much of the Ardennes weekend was similar to our trips to the Cape minus the choreographed dance numbers of Poker Face and singing outbursts of Since You've Been Gone. Hahaha! 

Unfortunately, we were not blessed with great weather. Although, today was a few degrees warmer and sunny. We still braved the elements and went out for some walks each day and returned to the fireplace, drank some hot chocolate, and played some games. Jaap won Kolonisten twice despite our efforts to defeat him. 

One of the best parts of the weekend was playing Weerwolven or werewolves in English. It's a game that's designed for a large group of people where everyone sits in a circle and is given a role by the 'game master'. In most cases there are four different roles in the game, three werewolves, one witch, one seer, and everybody else is a civilian. The object is for the civilians to unmask the werewolves and vote them out with the help of the witch and the seer. However, each 'night' the werewolves sacrifice a witch, seer, or a civilian, while they are 'asleep'. In the end, everybody is accusing each other of being werewolves, people lie to create confusion, and this atmosphere of hysteria is created. It's quite intense and lots of fun!

Beautiful Ardennes countryside
Trying to beat Jaap in Kolonisten
Cozy fireplace
Hiking in the rain
Willem cooking some delicious shrimp with avocado
Three course dinner with candlelight

Defending myself after being accused of being a werewolf!

The house

Castle in Harze

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