last saturday johan took us on a tour de la belgique surréaliste, a visit to several surreal sites in belgium.
actually, we were quite late so we didn’t visit all the sites johan had planned, but it was still a very enjoyable day. first up was the enormous inclined plane of ronquière, where boats are transported from either the top [where one part of the canal ends] to the foot of the hill [where the other part starts] or vice versa. it’s not used that much, but it cost all the more to build it, apparently only because of the policy of “what’s spent in flanders must be spent in wallonia”.
same goes for the barge lifts of strépy-thieu. we saw both the new one [that’s being used mainly for tourists, as the canal simply ends a couple kilometers upstream] and the old one [that’s not being used at all]. it’s weird to see a huge container with water and like 15 boats being lifted to a higher level.
we drove a lot, had a late pancake lunch in brussels, and our last stop was in a place called buitenland [which is dutch/flemish for “abroad”].
we had a great day, and i want to thank johan again for showing us part of the surreal character of this country i’ve been living in for a little over two years now. so, err, thanx, johan!

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