On the ski hills, on the bike trails, and thru life in general

Posts tagged ‘Belgium’

Antwerp to Dordrecht

June 4 – Wednesday. We had to get out of the Antwerp harbour before we could start riding again so the barge cast off early. We departed at 0630 and cruised for about an hour and a half through this absolutely immense harbour before docking again. Antwerp is the second largest port in Europe, after Rotterdam, and it is just a maze of canals, inlets, jetties, tank farms, warehouses, ships of all sizes and, of course, windmills. Not the traditional quaint Dutch type but the huge wind-turbine type. Although the weather was cool and drizzly, most of us sat on deck with our morning coffee and watched the bustle of activity around us. Eventually Pim, our cook, came on deck and announced that we had crossed the border and we were now in Holland.

Canals between Antwerp and our start point for the day.

The massive harbour between Antwerp and our start point for the day, just across the NL border.

A grey, overcast day in Antwerp harbour.

A grey, overcast day in Antwerp harbour.

The wind farm at our drop off point. At least 12 turbines can be seen (more if the picture was better)

The wind farm at our drop off point. At least 12 turbines can be seen (more if the picture was better)

We started our ride at a moorage on a canal just south of the Oosterschelde, the large eastern outlet of the Schelde River into the North Sea. Rain was threatening the whole time and finally started falling once we set off. Thankfully, this was to be our shortest ride of the week. We stopped for coffee, after only 14 km, at a Stayokay Hostel outside Bergen op Zoom. Trying to dry out the raingear was pretty futile but the hot coffee was welcome. It had warmed up a bit so most people were as wet under their (supposedly breathable) raingear as if they hadn’t worn any. If nothing else, the jackets and pants acted as wetsuits so no one got chilled. We took off again after a half hour break and rode a short distance to the Bergen op Zoom Canadian War Cemetery where almost 1000 WW2 Canadian soldiers are buried, killed retaking that area from the Germans. Another 90 minutes of riding in the rain and we were at out barge pick-up point, in the Scheldt-Rhine Canal just beside Tholen. We ate our lunch back on the barge and cruised canals and locks for the next 3 hours until arriving in Dordrecht. Hans backed the barge under a cute little drawbridge into a tiny moorage, just big enough to fit us, it seemed, and we settled in for the evening.

Bergen op Zoom Canadian War Cemetery. Almost 1000 Canadians buried or remembered here.

Bergen op Zoom Canadian War Cemetery. Almost 1000 Canadians buried or remembered here.

Cute little drawbridge enclosing our moorage in Dordrecht.

Cute little drawbridge enclosing our moorage in Dordrecht.

The short cycling route around the east end of the Oosterschelde.

The short cycling route around the east end of the Oosterschelde.

Route map for June 4, 2014.

Rode 32 kms.

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St. Amands to Antwerp

June 3 – Tuesday.  Instead of cycling from the place where we docked last night, on the outskirts of Dendermonde, the Gandalf cast off her lines at 0730 and motored another 14 km, about 1.5 hrs, down the Schelde River to St. Amands. We pulled up alongside the Magnifique, a more luxurious and classier bike barge, and moored to it while we unloaded the bikes over her deck to the shore. I’m sure that there was a bike route to get us to the same spot but I think that Tom wanted to save some time so that we could linger at our next stop, which happened to be less than a kilometre away. He led us to an art gallery run by a couple who lived there during the summer but spent their winters in Mozambique digging fossils and semi-precious stones and turning them into works of art. Even the home/gallery was hand made from recycled local stones and African rocks. We spent an hour looking at his creations and some of the group bought some small jewellery items to take home. Seeing as the gallery is basically in the middle of nowhere, the owner was quite happy to give us a grand tour through the place. I think he must rely on cycle tourists for much of his sales.

Tying up to the Magnifique and unloading our bikes.

Tying up to the Magnifique and unloading our bikes.

Owner-built house/gallery in St. Amands

Owner-built house/gallery in St. Amands

Small items for display and sale in the gallery. Lots of fossils.

Small items for display and sale in the gallery. Lots of fossils.

Sculptures on display in one of the rooms

Sculptures on display in one of the rooms

Back on the bikes, we rode beside the Schelde for some time, eventually crossing a bridge into Temse.

The bridge we crossed on was new and Tom pointed out that the older one beside it, a heavy steel beam truss affair, was designed by a person whose name we would recognize – a certain Monsieur Eiffel. Apparently he designed a lot of the bridges in Belgium and France, as well as a little tower in Paris. Time for most of the group to wander over to a café to have a coffee. I, however, lingered a little too long by my bike and was buttonholed by a local who was walking his dog and trying to save my soul. “Are you a believer?” says he in broken English. Unsure whether he was referring to Justin or The Big Guy in the Sky, I hedged my bets. “Umm, sure” I said hesitantly, not wanting to provoke him. That did little good. Even that was enough to set him off in an over-repetitive story of how he was saved and how everyone should be a belieber, uh, believer. Not wanting to be rude and make a bad example of Canadians in general, I humoured him for the next 20 minutes until I had my own version of being saved by my confreres returning from their break.

We continued on beside the Schelde until the town of Rupelmonde, the home town of Gerardus Mercator, the map maker. (And here I thought that his first name was Transverse. Sorry – bad geography joke.) Time for some photos and off again for another half-hour to lunch in Bazel. Tom took us to a former chateau, with it’s own private lake, that had been taken over by the town for non-payment of taxes and was now a kind of community hall. Pretty place and a good choice for a lunch stop, seeing as it had a bar attached.

Statue of Mercator in Temse

Statue of Mercator in Rupelmonde

Pretty chateau lunch stop in Temse

Pretty chateau lunch stop in Bazel

Back on the bikes for our ride into Antwerp. I loved the layout of the route we took into the city. We were on a wide, red-coloured bike path. Beside that was a grassy verge, then a narrow pedestrian path, then the road. Biker heaven. No conflicts with cars or pedestrians, everyone knows where they belong.

Road into Antwerp with well designated car, pedestrian and bike areas.

Road into Antwerp with well designated car, pedestrian and bike areas.

What came next was new to all of us. We had to cross the Schelde again, but this time via a tunnel built solely for pedestrians and cyclists (imagine having one of those in Edmonton!). However, we first had to take our bikes down an escalator before traversing the tunnel, then escalate them back up again. Tom explained the tricks of handling a bike on an escalator so we wouldn’t kill anyone or look like total tools (going down – turn the front wheel perpendicular and stand beside the seat; going up – wheel perpendicular again but stand behind the seat. It’s easier to hold it that way. If you’ve got it right, you can hold the bike with one hand. If you don’t have it right, it’s going to be a long ride while you wrestle with a bike that seems to have a mind of it’s own) and down we went. Thankfully, everyone was able to manage, though it was touch-and-go at times.

Preparing to load our bikes and ourselves onto the escalator.

Preparing to load our bikes and ourselves onto the escalator.

And down we go, trying desperately not to cause a bike avalanche.

And down we go, trying desperately not to cause a bike avalanche.

Riding through the tunnel (without making immature echoey noises).

Riding through the tunnel (for once without making immature echoey noises).

Mike trying to keep his bike under control on the way up.

Mike trying to keep his bike under control on the way up. The locals behind me don’t seem too concerned. Ignorance is bliss.

We found the Gandalf moored in one of the many little protected harbours right near the MAS, the largest, and newest, museum in Antwerp. Unfortunately, we arrived after closing time but the roof top observatory was open so we got a great view of the city and our moorage.

The MAS (Museum aan de Stroom) over our harbour.

The MAS (Museum aan de Stroom) over our harbour.

From the MAS rooftop, our harbour with a 3-master and Gandalf in far distance.

From the MAS rooftop, our harbour with a 3-master and Gandalf in far distance.

Route from St. Amands to Antwerp

June 3rd route St Amands to Antwerp.

June 3rd route
St Amands to Antwerp.

Rode 39 km

Ghent to Dendermonde

June 2 – Monday. Because of a time constraint in getting to a lock, the Gandalf had to motor for a few kilometres on the canal before we could begin our ride for the day. Even so, we still started shortly after 9 a.m. It was a beautiful, warm day and there were to be a few highlights over the course of it. After more towpaths, streets and trails, our first stop was in Wetteren for a quick snack and a tour of the city hall. This area of Belgium participates in the Festival of the Giants, a ritual originating in the mid 15th century. The town constructs elaborate giant figures and parades them through town, carried by (very strong) people concealed inside them. Two of the giants are kept in the town hall and we were allowed to view them.

The Gandalf getting rid of us for the day.

The Gandalf getting rid of us for the day.

Happy to be back on the road for another day.

Happy to be back on the road for another day.

Lucille and the giant.

Lucille and the giant. I think 2 people have to carry that one :/

Then it was off through the countryside for our next stop, a ferry ride across the canal. These ferries are small but less expensive than building a bridge for the predominantly rural clientele. Our group of 20 cyclists was probably the largest group seen in a while but it was able to hold all of us in one go..

More wooded trails...

More wooded trails…

and narrow streets...

and narrow streets…

and country lanes.

and country lanes.

Waiting for the ferry.

Waiting for the ferry.

We were following a road when Tom had us park off to the side while he headed over to a farmhouse. A few minutes later he comes out and says that we should have lunch on their lawn and that “the ice cream would be ready shortly”. No further encouragement was needed. Although there were no signs advertising the place, it was a local ice cream and treat store. So we happily lounged on their lawn and ate our lunch with ice cream for dessert!

Relaxing on the lawn on a hot day. Ice cream followed.

Relaxing on the lawn on a hot day. Ice cream followed.

These bike/barge trips are certainly an enjoyable way to travel, especially in north Belgium and Holland where there are no hills to speak of, beautiful countryside and pretty little towns to pass through. And the bars/cafes are everywhere. After another hour and a half, we came to yet another ferry crossing. But, as it was a hot and dry day, we made good use of the bar that was strategically located at the ferry landing.

Single track! A bit of everything on this day (except hills).

Single track! A bit of everything on this day (except hills).

Escaping the sun for a while.

Escaping the sun before another ferry ride..

It didn’t take us long afterward to reach the Gandalf, docked just outside Dendermonde. As we had lots of time on our hands before supper and the Gandalf didn’t have a washer and dryer for passenger use, some of the riders took the opportunity to find a laundromat and get some laundry done. Others of us went to explore. Tom had told us that there was a monastery in town that still brewed beer. All we had to do is knock on the door and ask for the “beer monk”. He led us to it, went through the procedure and damn if he wasn’t right! The monk was a very pleasant fellow (not dressed in robes though) and sold the beer for €1.40 a bottle, less than half the price of what we generally paid. Good beer too. The monk told us that there were only 6 of them left and he was the youngest at 57. They actually don’t do the brewing themselves anymore but have it contracted out.

I love cycling when it is hot and there are lots of places to quench thirst. What a great day.

Preparing to meet the beer monk.

Preparing to meet the beer monk.

Route from Ghent to Dendermonde

Ghent to Dendermonde

Ghent to Dendermonde

Rode 41 km

Bruges to Ghent

June 1 – Sunday. Our first full day ride! After 4 days of eating, drinking beer and walking at a museum pace, save for the short ride yesterday, we needed to get some exercise. Many of us rode between Bruges and Ghent 2 years ago but Tom followed a completely different route. Such is Belgium that you can pick many different routes suitable for biking between cities. As before, our route consisted of towpaths, wooded trails and roads, without having to battle cars at any time. If we encountered a car on a narrow road it just patiently waited until there was room to pass. Other roads had designated bike routes beside the roadway, painted red so there was no question where the bikes belonged and cars didn’t. We stopped after 25 km for a snack, i.e. coffee/beer, in Aalter then kept on going for another 25 km until lunch in Drongen. The Gandalf provided bagged lunches but the cafes were more than happy to let us eat our lunches at their tables in exchange for buying their beer. We were more than happy to fulfill our end of the deal. Lunch in Drongen even came with entertainment, in the form of 2 quite inebriated but friendly locals who had lots of questions (and some doubts) about what we were doing and the usual curiosity about Canada.

Route from Bruges to Ghent

Bruges to Ghent

Bruges to Ghent

Riding on country roads...

Riding on country roads…

and wooded trails...

and wooded trails…

and neighborhood roads.

and neighborhood roads…

and more country roads.

and more country roads. We never went a day without passing cows, horses, and sheep.

Lunch in Drongen with the locals.

Lunch in Drongen with the locals.

It was a short ride after lunch into Ghent, a city much like Bruges though much more populous, with a large university and younger population. We had over 2 hours of free time and Tom led a short tour to point out recommended places to visit. As an aside, he took us through the medieval-looking front door of the Marriott Hotel. Walking over the threshold was like passing through a time warp, with a bright and ultra-modern lobby on the other side. It was also evident that the sweaty people in bike helmets didn’t belong there. On the art front, I was able to see the second of the Monument’s Men works accessible on our ride – the Ghent Alterpiece. It is in the St. Bavo Cathedral and is such a complex piece of work that, using the audio guide, takes about 40 minutes to listen to the explanation of what you are looking at on each of the 12 panels. Fully protected behind glass and no pictures allowed though. I would love to spend more time in this city.

Ghent on a Sunday. Pretty and relaxed.

Ghent on a Sunday. Pretty and relaxed.

Ghent. St. Bavo Cathedral at centre left.

Ghent. St. Bavo Cathedral at centre left, home of the Ghent Alterpiece.

In Belgium, beer is always served in an appropriately labelled glass.

In Belgium, beer is always served in an appropriately labelled glass.

The last ride of the day - back to the barge for supper.

The last ride of the day – back to the barge for supper.

Rode 63 km

All Aboard the Gandalf

May 31 – Saturday.  Today was to be the start of the bike/barge portion of the trip. We checked out of the Cordoeanier and loaded up a taxi with all our bags at 10 a.m. Gerry and I walked the 20 minutes to the bargeplein while Gordon and Darryl stuffed them selves in the cab to accompany the bags. We arrived just as they had finished unloading and putting all the bags on board but the Gandalf, our barge home for the next week, would not be ready for us until 2 p.m. so we spent the time wandering and checking out museums. At the Church of Our Lady, I forked over the €2 admission to see the Michelangelo Madonna and Child. I guess I never saw it last time in Bruges because I didn’t want to pay, since I remember being in the church (where Gail got pickpocketed) but don’t remember the statue. The sun was nice and warm and Darryl, Gerry and I hung out in the courtyard by the Four Horsemen while Donna did a quick tour through the Groeninge Museum. Then off for a waffle lunch, which seems to be our standard lunch for departing Bruges, and walk to the boat.

Michelangelo's Madonna and Child

Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child

Waffles - our final lunch in Bruges

Darryl and Gerry attacking waffles – our traditional final lunch in Bruges

While passing through Berg Markt, we saw a large collection of gull-wing cars being lined up on display. It was the DeLorean Club of Belgium, with at least 2 dozen of their cars opened up for public viewing, including one equipped with a flux capacitor, plutonium chamber, cable hook and all the other accoutrements on a Back to the Future car.

DeLoreans galore!

DeLoreans galore!

Complete with flux capacitor and all

Complete with flux capacitor and all

Nice detail

Nice detail, even to the alarm clock.

Once we made it to the boat, we were introduced to the crew: Captain – Hans, Mates – Nick and Meyian, Cook – Pim, Guide – Thomas, and ship’s dog Jala, a large but docile Tibetan Mastiff. We were assigned our bikes, adjusted them to fit and took off for a short ride to Damme to check them out. We followed the same route as 2 years ago, there and back, and got back to the boat a few hours later for a fine supper. The bikes were all 8-speed, internal hub, with hand brakes and equipped with panniers. And heavy as hell. Not that that mattered much, seeing as the only elevation changes we would come across were the bridge and overpass ramps. As with all Dutch bikes, we sat very upright on cushy seats. After getting used to it, I found my bike quite comfortable and adequate for the distances we would be doing.

Rode 18 km

Route from Bruges to Damme

Bruges to Damme, return

Bruges to Damme, return

My 8-speed touring bike. Weighs a ton.

My 8-speed touring bike. Weighs a ton.

Our split level bedroom in the Gandalf

Our split level bedroom in the Gandalf

Looking up the stairs to the door and the tiny bathroom.

Looking up the stairs to the door and the tiny bathroom.

Nice bright salon/lounge, where we ate our meals.

Nice bright salon/lounge where we ate our meals and relaxed, when not drinking beer on deck.

Jala, the captain's 10-yr old Tibetan Mastiff.

Jala, the captain’s 10-yr old Tibetan Mastiff.

On the Road – Week 1

Finally have time, and an internet connection, to update the trip so far.

May 26.  Checked out of the hotel after partaking in a feed of waffles.  Can’t go to Belgium without trying the waffles!  Yes, they were good, especially with the ice cream, whipping cream and chocolate sauce.

A healthy lunch

The famous Belgian frites, though, are nothing special at all – no different from McCains.  And they charge for condiments, 50 cents for a dollop.  Anyway, we loaded up a taxi with our luggage, and all but 2 of us made the 25 minute walk down to the bargeplein.  Met the crew of the Feniks and settled into our cabins – small! Gerry and I have a cabin with bunk beds – very comfortable – but no space to unpack and 2 people can’t use the room at the same time without being extremely intimate.  The room is 6 feet wide, including the width of the bed, and just over 6 feet long.

Feniks cabin – 6 ft wide, 6.5 feet long

Also a tiny bathroom – have to put the garbage pail in the shower just to sit on the toilet! There are a few shelves in the room, which is more than we had in the hotel room in Bruges, but most of clothing has to stay in suitcases stashed under the bottom bunk.  We had a beer (Dutch – Amstel, since the barge just came from Holland), adjusted the bikes that we will use for the next 2 weeks and left for a short ride to Damme.  Lovely bike trails and they are very well used by walkers and lots of bikers.  Hardly any locals wear helmets and only maybe 50% of road bikers wear them.  Damme is a pretty little town just northeast of Bruges. As will be part of our daily routine for the next 2 weeks, we sat out in an outdoor patio, had a beer, took photos of the local buildings and got back in the saddle. After the 18 km ride, put the bikes away and had a relaxing evening on board.
May 27.  First full day of riding.  Bruges to Ghent. After  a few more bike adjustments, left around 9:30am.  Early into the ride, we passed by a monument to WW2 Canadians who died while liberating Belgium.    The courtesy of the cars and other bikers in Belgium is almost unnerving.  Cars will stop for you when you turn into traffic and I have not heard a horn or shouts of inconvenience or seen abusive gestures at any time, even with 19 riders stopping a line of traffic to cross a road.  Stopped in a little town, Poeke, for lunch and beer.

Our daily routine

Hot day and the town fountain looked very inviting.  Every town has numerous bars  and all have lots of tables on the sidewalk or, if on the square, out 8 deep into the square.  What is quickly evident though is that bars on the square charge more for the beer than those in a side street.  Also, the towns are CLEAN!  No litter, plastic bags, coffee cups, anything.  Well, except for cigarette butts.  For all the biking these people do, they  still haven’t figured out that smoking is unhealthy. Even road bikers, all kitted out in their team jerseys and shorts, stopping for a beer break can be seen puffing away.  Arrived in Gent/Ghent by 4pm and our guide took us on a walking tour.

Another cathedral, this time in Ghent

Again, lots of churches, a large town square, and many bars.  Although obviously catering to tourists, every patio had numerous locals relaxing with a beer.  Left to find the barge but it hadn’t arrived yet so we biked around looking for a bar.  Think we could find one in the barge area?  Had to go about 2 km before we came across one.  Total biking for the day was 68 km.  Pretty good for our first day. The barge was still pretty warm at night and it was difficult to get to sleep. No air conditioning, small windows in the cabin and no air movement so it was sultry to say the least.
May 28Ghent to Oudenarde.  Again, lovely trails and paths.  The network of trails is astounding.  The bike trails are actually multi-purpose country roads and, although only 1 lane wide, you will encounter cars, road bikes, motorcycles, hikers, tractors – pretty anything that will fit on an 8-foot wide trail!  And, as in the city, everyone is so patient and courteous with oncoming and passing traffic.  The trails are numbered like roads,

Belgian bike route sign

with directional signs at many intersections. In the small area of Flanders that we were in, there are over 790 km of biking trails, with the local gov’t producing detailed maps.  Kind of like an AMA for bikers.  Stopped at Ename for lunch and beer. Eventually started paralleling the Schelde (Skelda) River and stayed with it right into Oudenarde. Arrived around 3pm and went for a guided tour of the cathedral (Saint Walberga) and the tapestry museum.

Tapestry

After the hot day, the darkened coolness of the tour buildings was a soporific for some people and it was a struggle to stay awake. The one good thing about this tour is that I learned something! I always thought the stained glass windows in the churches were just meant to be fancy and decorative. Not so! They were set up like comic books to tell a religious story to the illiterate populace, who had no access to manuscripts (and the printing press had not been invented yet).  The graphic novels of the time.  Total biking for the day was an easy 38 km. Hot and sticky again at night. The steel of the ship absorbs heat and doesn’t give it up easily.
May 29Oudenarde to Tournai.  A little cooler in the morning but sunny and warmed up quickly.  We left the river to take a trip on part of the Tour de Flanders route.  Only a few hundred metres of relief here but some roads (on the TdF route) are up to 20% grades.  We stopped at the bottom of one of the TdF grades for pictures, all cobblestones, and watched one road rider start his way up.  We went up a much gentler road, maybe equivalent to Victoria hill but longer.  That got the blood going a bit after all the flat countryside of the past few days.

Forest trails

Worked our way into a forest with lovely scenic trails, mostly packed dirt, leading to a nice little bar. Bars are everywhere here! Had coffee (beer) break and headed down to the lowlands again to meet back up with the Schelda River on on to Helkjin for lunch (and more beer).  We are now in Wallonia, the French part of Belgium, after spending the previous days in Flanders, the Flemish part. At least I can read some of the signs now!  Followed the river all the way into Tournai.  Smooth, flat trail – a road biker’s heaven.  Not only are the trails here very well maintained, they have no frost heaves so it is not like riding a washboard.  Total for the day was 45 km.  Biked right past the barge so we could get into the centre of Tournai to find a

Tournai TdF jersey

bike store before closing.  No such luck – only stores were on the outskirts of town.  A bunch of us are looking for bike jerseys, preferably Tour de Flanders, but not likely now since we will enter France tomorrow. Tournai is the end of the second stage of the Tour de France and the local belfry was decked out in a large TdF jersey.

After looking around the local cathedral, under extensive renovation, we (surprise, surprise) went to another bar. Hung around the barge at night, finally getting time to update journal.
May 30. Tournai to Bouchain.  Cooler in morning but warmed up to mid-20’s again.  Pretty flat day.  Passed from Belgium into France in morning.  Just a small sign denoting the border.

Mike in France

At first the trails in France were very similar to those in Belgium but soon ran out and we had to use roads, complete with traffic.  Roads still narrow and no room for 2 cars and a line of bikes, so cars would end up following us for quite a ways while waiting for a break in traffic.  Must be very used to bikers though as we still have not heard a horn beeped in impatience.   Stopped at noon for coffee, then went on to Hergnies for lunch for those who didn’t eat it earlier.  Arrived in Bouchain at 4:30pm.  68 km total riding.  Good day of biking – flat, sunny and not windy.  The barge had not arrived in Bouchain when we got there (held up in locks) so we settled into a bar.  Art inquired if there was a bike shop in town – the bartender said no but one of the patrons piped up in French and said he would drive us (Gerry, Robbie, and me) to one in a town a few miles back. Off we went in the fellow’s car, complete with a half-eaten baguette on the dash to remind us we were in France.  Found the store 3 towns back.  We must have passed it on our ride in but no one noticed it.  The 3

The BMC Team

of us went in and, after inquiring about jerseys, the storekeeper pulled out a special he was having – the jersey and bib shorts of the 2011 BMC team for 42 Euros!  Gery and I got the kit and Robbie got the jersey (for 25 Euros). Outstanding deal! Couldn’t even come close to that at MEC. And he threw in a BMC carry-bag with it.  He had 3 happy customers.  The local drove us back to Bouchain, we bought him a couple of beers for his trouble and we biked to the barge.
May 31. Arleux. A partial rest day.  At our request,  Albert arranged for 3 vans to drive us to Vimy Ridge in the morning, instead of what was on his itinerary.  Took about 45 minutes to get there from Bouchain.  Very impressive monument and displays.

Vimy memorial

Spent about 90 minutes there before taking the vans to Arleux, where the barge was to meet us.  Would have liked to spend longer at Vimy, especially for the guided tunnel tour, but he had a schedule to keep.  Ate lunch at the boat and some of us hopped on bikes for a short ride to the coal mining museum in Lewarde.  Took the “cage” down to the mining level (i.e the first floor) where numerous realistic displays were set up in a series of fake drifts to show history of coal mining in the area.  Very well done with extensive use of actual rusty steel sets, mesh holding back broken rock, mining equipment, etc.

“Drift” in Lewarde coal mining museum

Had some people fooled thinking they were actually underground. Total riding for day was an easy 23 km.  The barge left Arleux shortly after we got back on board and headed towards Peronne.  We passed through numerous locks before docking pretty well in the middle of nowhere. Cool evening on deck for a change.

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