Let's have a look where the Pommeroeul-Antoing canal begins. This is one of my favourite moorings of all times. You find it in the south of Belgium, close to the French border. A place like that is called a Grand Large, a big width.
The evening light, just after a good shower of rain, does not make things look worse.
Built in the early 1980s, this canal can handle barges of considerable size. Consequently the lock, that is needed to help us down the slope, is quite large as well: 150 x 12,5 metres /500 x 40 feet.
From the Grand Large, the canal goes downhill rapidly.
The drop is quite considerable: about 15 m / 50 ft!
Not shown here, the lock has recently been modernised. A cctv camera peers into the distance to help the lock keeper discern upstream traffic.
This is one of two locks on this stretch. A Google search teaches us that each lock employs three civil servants.
From the next lock we look into France, that begins at the end of the concrete quay.
And what do we see on closer inspection?
A nature reserve. No barges coming in from France, nothing to see through the cctv system but birds, some of them rare. No busy lock assistants making sure that traffic comes through smoothly. Smashed windows in the lock keeper's office, a huge investment gone to waste. Just a silted up river, giving out into the French part of the river Scheldt, that bears the name Escaut in this region.
So that's where you go to my lovely canal - nowhere . . .
P.S. I simply love Belgium.