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Report - A trip abroad - BelGermany. November 2013

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by jST, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. jST

    jST LLS.
    Regular User

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    I’d been amassing a map of different buildings to look at on the continent for some time following our summer trip (rather than your standard fayre such as maison Jeff, Farm Semolina and whatnot)

    There’d been one particular power plant evading me for some time and finally, after latching onto a tiny piece of information I found on Flickr and scouring google maps for what seemed like weeks, it appeared…

    This led to the swift booking of a ferry, chucking some stuff in my car and GeoVDub & I were off with a number of bits to recce / look at in Belgium along the way.

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    Missing our ferry thanks to traffic, 50mph zones etc put us off kilter somewhat and meant that we rolled into Belgium at daft o’clock – we decided to stay up and have a look at some of the buildings we had on our map.

    An intimidating semi live power plant and a few hundred kilometres later we rolled into the silent village next to Chateau Foret which had eluded us in the summer, still the case now… – a couple of photos of the impressive exterior and we left with light brimming on the horizon.

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    Next to what has been named as “Zone Braams II†– an ex Nato radio satelleite dish. Interesting, a bit dark still to photo it properly.

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    Croissants and chocomel + scrapes and grazing at Psy Monastery.

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    Then on to what is possibly one of the most special things I’ve had the pleasure to see – Three Tucker Sno-Cat Type 743s, remnants of the Belgian/Dutch collaborative Antarctic expedition of 1966. Hidden away in an unassuming barn, these are completely untouched and unmolested, still with ration crates and tow cables inside.

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    The weather turned shit and we swung by Beringen to look at the Mine museum there, which was interesting, however, their reluctance to open the derelict bits such as the winding houses and power plant for us to have a look at was slightly disappointing. Here is one photo I took there in an empty boiler house we managed to get into. “BUT MONSEEUR WE ‘AVE DRIVEN ALL THE WAY FROM INGLANND!â€

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    Time was getting on so we pointed the Teutonobarge in the rough direction of Germany with a swift “drive in†derp at Monastary Mont G – empty and photogenic, nice chapel but I liked the rest of it too.

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    40 hours without sleep, torrential rain, a world of lorry spray and aquaplaning led to a lengthy and slightly surreal journey through Germany. Some time later… we are in our hotel bar slurping Weizen and marvelling at the array of traditional costumes on display at an Autumnal festival held there, including real bits of tree hung from the ceiling and the entire floor of the restaurant ankle deep in fallen leaves – a bizarre conclusion to a very long day.

    John Salomon joined us at breakfast and we headed off towards what is named “Kraftwerk Hohenblickâ€. A completely intact vintage factory with the finest power plant I’ve ever (personally) had the pleasure to see. Two turbine halls, incredible control rooms, two boiler houses, labs, switch rooms, stores, workshops and all manner of extremely beautiful old things to examine and look at… we spent all morning here and I clocked up over 400 photos, I’ll be preparing a detailed report sometime soon – for now, here’s a taster.

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    Continued below.

     

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  2. jST

    jST LLS.
    Regular User

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    Re: A trip abroad: BelGermany. November 2013.

    On we sped back towards Belgium via France to check out a couple of other bits which bore no fruit, finally ending up at Zeche GG, which I’d visited last year but it was good to have a look around again.
    This behemoth of a mine boasts the world’s tallest headstock (yes it does, taller than Clipstone), again still unclimbable as last year and an enormous washery, all built to feed the power station next door. A lot of the site is being converted and many of the buildings, such as the winding houses, are being tarted up with their machinery contents still sealed within. Here’s last year’s report on GG including its neighbouring French death Laverie, Petite Rosselle.

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    Onwards to Liege for a night halt in a curious Hotel Formule 1, populated by Polish track workers. The following day was concerned mainly with slowly tripping back across Belgium mopping up bits and bobs from the summer and checking out some other buildings – such as that University: meh. Crystallerie… not so much.

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    Cooling Tower “Petit Maison†Named on account of the little garden shed that is inexplicably placed in the middle of it.

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    And some of the associated screening gubbins for the cooled water, prior to its release back into the River Meuse

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    Trundling back further across Belgium we encountered a chap driving goats down a residential street in the rather impoverished industrial zone of Charleroi amongst other bizarre occurrances…

    A quick stop in at Triage Lavoir Peronnes, nice space, very empty plus I almost concussed myself walking into a big piep conveniently placed at bonce level.

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    Tiredness was encroaching on our willingness to explore so we headed back to Calais via Ypres which provided a poignant conclusion on remembrance Sunday to a rather brilliant trip.

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    This report was brought to you by Chocomel & Fromage du tete. It did not employ the overuse of the words: “Placeâ€, “old girl†or “mooch†and it is an absolute pleasure to share it with you, no need to thank me.

    Special mentions to Camera Shy and to Wevsky for their valuably contributed snippets of information and of course to GeoVW for providing most excellent Doge based entertainment in the form of his exceedingly special musical talents, aiding with the 1900 miles of driving and for excellent company all round.​
     
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