Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tuesday - This is Belgium

We entered Belgium uneventfully as we never did locate the "Bureau De Perception Des Droits De Navigation", the Office of the Overview of the Rights to Navigate. We had received detailed instruction from our last havenmeester of its location. While we were still searching for its location, the lock gates open and the parade of boats started making their way into the lock. We followed and kept looking for the office for the next thirty kilometres. With no sirens or hovercraft speeding alongside us, we assumed we had unofficially arrived in Belgium.

The Meuse is industrial and perhaps we shouldn't judge the rest of Belgium by it. The area is dirty with fifty shades of dust, rust and soot. We did not meet many boaters along the way and the ones we did meet were heading towards the Dutch border.

The area must have been of great importance once as their are signs of old wealth. Beautiful mansions appear between the trees, not far from a sandpit, gravel and limestone works.

Undulating hills have emerged and it is almost strange after the flat landscape we had grown accustomed to. Castles are poised on strategic locations, and as the size of the hills grow, so does the size of the citadels.

I already miss the Netherlands with its friendly and helpful people, designated bicycle paths and well maintained homes and boats.

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