Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Another fabulous weekend in Belgium

Last weekend was so filled with highlights that they would grey out if all listed here.
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!

Bekijk de originele foto's van deze diastrip. Klik op de tekst rechts onderaan de pagina om naar de volgende foto te gaan.
Photos Koos Fernhout ©2006


Erik-Jan said...

Hi Koos,
Nice movie. Saw it this morning already. Thought I should wait with my comment as long as the story with it wasn't published.
So there is no story. A movie 'paints a thousend words'.
So nice movie.

Koos F said...

Hi Erik-Jan
You had the right idea, this post is far from finished.
I am working on it.
Hope I am not asking too much of your patience!

Anne-Marie said...

Hi Koos,
I'll come back when the post is finished, but the forest views in the video had to be commented on- just stunning, and you're making me homesick for Europe.

bookworm said...

Hi Koos,
I like your film and the picture from the station of Essen. In Germany you could find a lot of old railwaystations, but the most are unused and sometimes you could buy it.
I saw you wrote on Rachels new blog today. I think in the same way and I miss to go on the others blog with a mouse click. Hope Rachel and EelPie could change it.
All the best

Lannio said...

Lovely montage of photos, artistry and music. Thanks for sharing.



VallyP said...

These photos of Ronquieres are probably unique Koosje. I can't imagine too many people venturing up there at night to take pictures . It's a lonely spot, but therefore all the more atmospheric with its illuminated structures.

Koos F said...

Hi Anne-Marie,
I hope you enjoy your second time around.
The film is worth watching again, it now contains all the pictures of the weekend.
The second image sequence is there especially for a few friends from a nautical newsgroup who are alien to blogdom. Worth watching anyway.

Why do people say Rachel's new blog is great?
It's not half as good as the original imho, it just looks better (a matter of taste though).

Hello Stefan
Wouldn't it be great to own a diused railway station, especially if the railway is still in use?
I'll go for the lonely house in Manage, although it's not a station, but it is surrounded by railways - wow!

Glad you enjoy this, Lannio. The desire to share is what these pages are all about.

Yes VallyP, I guess it will take a while before others come up with similar photos from Ronquières!

Anne-Marie said...

This was absolutely worth the return visit! Two impressions from looking at the pictures and the youtube montage: the country scenery is stunning, and you love the railways!

The second video, of the ship lift (see, I can read Dutch!), was quite interesting in terms of the process.

Thanks for taking the time and effort to finish this post properly. It was great to peruse a second time.


Anne-Marie said...

Oh, and I agree with you, I don't think Rachel's new blog is great. I especially don't like the fact that bloggers can't interact with each other unless they spend a considerable effort to link up, which isn't likely to happen initially.

I think she is trying to avoid trolls and wants to control her information, but the price for that is a reduced social community. I think it's going to bomb a bit, and that interest will wane.

bookworm said...

Good morning Koos,

the Documenta open the gates next summer. I think your not so far away from Kassel. Come and look and I and my kids will make a breakfast and I show you the town.

Wish you a good weekend

Koos F said...

Hi Anne-Marie,
Germanic languages, if you are familiar with one, you have a good start understanding the other, as you have proven.
It took me over thirty years to find pictures of this inclined plane in Siberia. The communists were very secretive about these things.
Had to share this with friends in a special 'ship talk' newsgroup.

Hi Bookworm
Wouldn't that be great next summer? Excellent plan, thanks for offering!!!

bookworm said...


yes, this will be funny.


ana kiryu said...


so thanks for visit my blog...
i wanna help peple to learn portuguese...and i wanna learn some of ohter languages....it's different you know...
and i can't believe that you're from netehrland....it's awesome...

ana kiryu said...

oh..and i leave in a estate call Minas Gerais....the city is Belo Horizonte....

Dale said...

Koos, the inclined plane has me facinated...

Does it get the trains over the locks or go down beside them?

This is coming from a confused blonde who's computer refuses to communicate whenever a moving picture is involved!


Dale said...


er... I mean fanscinated.


Ahva Rahn said...

Koos, isn’t it wonderful discovering? I see you here describing a solitary tourist; you are so lucky, and we too, for your shared experience (you’re not “the only visitors”). I agree with your sentiments on the new venue: AITV –Rach’s site could do with the old community feel (yet it made me post on your site – ironies, eh?).

Take care – Paul

Koos F said...

Hi Dale,
Sorry, I forgot that you don't see movies, but you can view the originals of the photos that I found here. Click on the text at the bottom right of the page to proceed to the next.
It is a huge inclined plane to lift barges up to an artificial lake, over a dam, and vice versa. Bet the pictures speak for themselves. It is near Krasnoyarsk in Siberia.

gypsy noir said...

koos you are the tour guide supreme...you should make postcards..your pics are wonderful..

Koos F said...

Thanks Gypsy
You are so unlike my image af a gypsy. You are really sweet.

MargieCM said...

Hi Koos - my goodness, you and Val do take the most beautiful pictures. Having such fabulous views to point at must help, I know, but they're certainly special.

Thanks for dropping by and leaving that note of clarification on my blog. Much appreciated - I've replied there briefly too.

Will be back!

Dale said...

Dear Koos

I tried the fannattick link, but I was unable to access the blog itself.

Did I do something wrong or is it not set up yet?

I don't know where to go to watch ITA and I haven't been on BG's chat for a long time - I miss those live chats, especially when you all keep me abreast of what's happening when I can't see it!

Let me know if you find out anything.


duncan said...

Koos, I am clicking thru your trip(s) and I enjoy the descriptions and pictures. Will check in again later...

Koos F said...

Hi Dale,
As you have seen the site for Rachel's blogging fans now works properly.
People don't compare me to Pete every day ;-)

Hi Duncan,
Do come back, there is a real treasure trove waiting for you, if you go through earlier posts.

millymoon said...

thank you for your beautiful comment!...
anyhow...I came back to Milano!...
I hate this town...but I love very much London...


Chaz said...

What a lovely place, it seems quite fascinating actually, we're tinking of travelling to Europe next year if we save enough money, Belgium is defo somewhere we'd like to see! Unlike our "Wonderful Weekend in Wallsend"

Lol x

Johan H. said...

Sorry, in Dutch this time.
Hallo Koos,
Ik kijk altijd met veel plezier naar je blog.Zeker ook omdat jij meestal wekelijks laat ziet wat voor schip op de helling staat.Die fascinatie voor Frankrijk en Belgie,ook dat vind ik leuk. Ga zo door, ennuh, je maakt beslist mooie foto's.

Koos F said...

Hi Millymoon,
So sorry you dislike Milan.
I would love doing the great discovery trip through your city, again. My first time was in 1982. But then I am a city man.

Dear Bootsie
Same as above. You live so near Wallsend, yawn inspiring I suppose, but I might just think I've arrived in my special custom made paradise. All very personal, of course.
Before you go to Belgium and further, don't forget to ask Val or me for a few tips.
How's the baby?

Dale said...

But Koos, Pete introduced us! :)

And thanks for the Angus info... I've been curious for a long time, but kept forgetting to ask you or Val.

ROFL at Babelfish!

elena said...

Hola Koos!!

It's been a long time since I don't post here, sorry...Nice movie and pictures, I would love to visit Belgium someday, it must be lovely..


gypsy noir said...

>>>action<<< taps foot!!...and why have i not recieved your membership application koos??...val has past the test as well as dale and delbut!!!

Koos F said...

More or less quoting one of the Marx Brothers: I would not join a club that's willing to allow me membership!

MargieCM said...

Hello again Koos,

I have just been over and "registered" on the FanAttic site. Lovely idea.

The problem I have with Rachel's new site is that the text is so tiny, and I can't seem to make it bigger. Perhaps I'm just used to the Blogger templates, but they do seem very warm and friendly. I think it'll look more welcoming with a few pics up. Early days.

That station really is magnificent. I will make time to come back and trawl though your archives. Vitual travel! Thanks Koos,

Margie x

Anne-Marie said...

So Koos,
Is it called a slipway because of what it does to memory?


Les francais ne taquinent que ceux qu'ils aiment. ;)

Koos F said...

Hi Margie
Thanks for a lovely comment on my blog and... your digging through it will be rewarding, I guarantee in all modesty ;-)
Here is a tip to make small letters more easily readable.
If you have a Mac, hit command + (apple plus).
I don't know the shortcut for Windose, probably Control +. Anyway, in all my 4 browsers I find a menu called 'View', under which an option 'text size'.
That shortcut is a reflex action when opening a new page, especially InTheAttic with the tiny letters.

Koos F said...

Hi Anne-Marie

So I need to rush over see what Val has written, before I forget.

Les francais ne taquinent que ceux qu'ils aiment. ;)

Hey that one was new to me. I only knew the German version:
'Was sich liebt das neckt sich'.

Koos F said...

Hallo Johan H

Helaas deze week geen schip op de helling.
Valerie legt dit uit op haar blog (niet best voor mijn imago, wel vol hele milde spot).

VallyP said...

Hey Koosje! Ik vind het leuk dat jij een bericht in Nederlands hebt ontvangen. Welkom bij Blogland Johan H.!! Kom je zo terug en ook naar mijn blog - als je wilt ;-)

Dale said...

Ik weet u terug uw weg van Frankrijk vond - wordt u nu verloren in België?

gypsy noir said...

scatches head at last few comments...double dutch!...KOOSSSS!! val needs her barge seeing too!..

Cheryl Ann said...

Hello Koos,
Thanks for stopping by my blog and writing those nice things. You made my day!!

Also, thanks for sharing your pics and movies here. They are delightful. It gives me a chance to see parts of the world i only ever dream of seeing.

Koos F said...

Hi Val
What was it I wanted to say?
Oh yes, multi-lingual is fun, and your Dutch is pretty dang good!

Hi Dale
Great Double Dutch, Gypsy sees it too.
But I managed to figure out what the original thought was - well, the name Babelfish admits that babylonian confusion may result.

Sorry Gypsy,
You feel shut out now and then, but we still love you.

Cheryl Ann,
Terribly honoured by your visit, thank you!
Hope you keep posting, in writing and pictures, they give such a clear view of the other side of the world. I love it.

Dale said...

May the lord strike me speechless for tying to build a tower to heaven - with fish?...or at the least, render me incoherent!

Koos F said...

You are forgiven, forgiven, forgiven, forgiven, forgiven!

gypsy noir said...

bangs on door (((LET ME IN!!!)))..

Anthonetta said...

Hi Koos,
I never told you that I like this lay-out more than the first one, nice and simple, makes your pictures look much better.
very nice photo's of the wood with dog.
I get a "spring-feeling".
you like Belgium so much, you never think about moving there?

see you,