I'll just choose three of them.
All three have to do with rails, which is remarkable for a skipper like me.
First there is the station of Essen (a small border town in Belgium, not the famous steel industry city in Germany).
A station this size is fit for a city, not a sleepy small commuter town. When it was built it was a frontier station on what is still the busy main line between Amsterdam and Brussels. At that time a frontier still was a place where the customs officials had work to do, so every train stopped there and was checked thoroughly, hence the size of the station. I would not be surprised if it were to be redevloped for the market of luxurious apartments.
Behind this impressive station we discovered a road into an estate that left us speechless for its beauty - and we were the only visitors!
This was around supper time.
We went to see how our inclined plane in Ronquieres was doing.
This is where barges of 1350 metric tonnes roll 68 metres / 210 ft up and down an inclined plane, avoiding the use of at least 5 water guzzling locks.
This is such a sensational place that it has become a first rate tourist attraction. The people in charge light it accordingly . . .
My third favourite of this weekend, and the hardest to communicate, is in Manage, a place further South in Belgium.
Here we find a rather unsensational house sitting in a lonely spot on the edge of a meadow surrounded by railways. Just around the corner is the canal.
I wouldn't mind spending the rest of my days in a place like this. Well... maybe try for a month first?
These are busy railways, so the house has its own railway bridge!
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Photos Koos Fernhout ©2006