I had promised at the time of starting this blog that I would share with you our travels to some unique and interesting places, so here is the first one.
Radhadesh, “Spiritual India in Belgian Ardennes” has been on my mind for the last few years. Visiting a castle in the European countryside with all the spiritual goodness around it, what’s there not to like about it?
But the same dilemma, any place in Europe requires lot of planning and of course it is expensive. As we were inclined to fly Jet Airways (final destination: New Delhi) this time with a stopover in Brussels, the goal of visiting this spiritual haven seemed realistic.
The castle is about two hour drive from Brussels Airport, a pickup can be arranged either from the airport or from one of the rail stations close by. The Belgian Railways is well connected and reliable. We opted for the airport pickup while getting there (as the place was new to us) but took a local train back to Brussels Midi station.
The castle and surroundings are well managed and has pretty much everything that you need to wind down and revitalize yourself. It is set amongst the lush green (spring-fall) forest, hills and meadows of the Belgian Ardennes. The property has own walking trails, a college, guesthouse, restaurant, bakery and a temple. Several apple and pear orchards, walnut trees, vegetable patches and flower gardens further enhance the beauty of this paradise. The horse farms and pastures for the cows along with few stone (real ones) houses are the neighbors of this castle. 🙂 It feels like you have traveled back in time.
I was amazed by the construction quality (mainly the stones and iron) of the castle, everything is Rock Solid. The European interior is decked with Indian furnishings that blend well. The property also attracts many tourists as it has ongoing tours of the castle. A performance of the classical Indian dances is also arranged for large groups. It is a perfect setting to learn more about the culture and spiritual heritage of India.
The medieval city of Durbuy is about 15 minutes drive which is a cute little town with cobblestone streets, nice restaurants and cafes. The bubbling creek (actually it is a river with not much water), several bridges along with nice trails and parks makes it a perfect spot for day trip. The tourists from neighboring countries (Holland, Germany and Netherlands) also visit this city.
The whole experience was very relaxing. Whether it was relishing the fresh baked (just out of the oven) savories from the bakery or having sumptuous vegetarian meals while overlooking the green pastures. Or just strolling around and enjoying the beauty of the castle and its surroundings.
In the evenings, there was an option of Hot Milk (Real Milk without any processing or alteration) and homemade Bread with Butter. We were all hooked on to it. 🙂 Even if you don’t like the taste of Milk, you’ll love this for sure.
In the night, we had beautiful Kirtans (devotional singing) along with various musical instruments while putting the Lordships to sleep.
We used to gaze at the pitch black sky full of stars or take a moonlit stroll in the end. Such a sight is difficult to spot in the city or a suburb.
I have posted more pics here. Hope you can visit this castle when you’re in Brussels next.