Previous page
Back to the 2018 index page


The border marker. A dam on the river, which is called the Meuse here, rather than the Maas. Screens upstream of the dam to catch floating matter. The Meuse, with some more floating matter heading towards the dam. This road is slightly below the water level. For the next couple of days, I will be on this cycle path, called RAVeL 1. Like many minor roads in ... There were initially more birds than this but each one in turn flew away as I approached. An ugly factory. A facility which generates power from rubbish. Logs. A large statue of King Albert I. For scale, there is a person standing on top of the wall to the lef... The path into Liège. Liège. Liège. Liège. More statues. Liège. It's amazing how unlike the Netherlands this is. Maastricht and Liège are only 26 km apart but they ... The place is chaotic and feels like a real mess. The Opera House. Liège. Liège. Some of these people are queueing for waffles. Others are just walking through the same space. I hav... My hotel is only about a kilometre away along this road. It might take me a while to get there thoug... Liège. Liège. Tonight's hotel is the quirky one. I'm wondering whether I should play along by turning up with this... Well, this is it. You wouldn't know though. The door is shut and the name of the hotel isn't display... Definitely not the Netherlands. The road to my new hotel. There were two hotels which were close to where I was and boasted 24-hour front desks: this one and ... The hotel has a slightly confusing design. I thought this was the restaurant but you actually have t... I came down the wrong stairs while trying to find the bedrooms, and instead found this: the smoking ... The toilets for the bar. The terrace. A sculpture with water running down it. Just as I entered my room, a text arrived from the owner of the other hotel. He had seen that I had ... The view from my window. This hotel has a restaurant which is open until half past ten but is probably very expensive. I'm al... This building was only barely visible in ... A primary school. The RAVeL path along the river doesn't really exist through Liège. It looks like the best route for ... The road down the other side isn't the fast smooth descent that I had hoped for. The Liège area. I started pretty much in the centre of Liège and I've only come 6.7 km to get here. If this cycle ro... A small power station. A classic car festival. An eclectic collection of shiny old cars passed me on the way out of Maastri... More of the cars. The view from a dam. I had come off the signed cycle route so to get back on it, I rode down the ram... The lock in the dam. A conveyor belt. As I entered this village, I passed a road sign warning of "festivities". The small group ... The Tihange nuclear power station, which doesn't seem very big but apparently has three reactors. A plane in the clear blue sky. Today has been hotter than I would expect for September. Water falling from Tihange's cooling towers. Huy. Here, I didn't make any mistakes. I followed the cycle route perfectly. It starts on the far bank on... This little hamlet is called Ben. Cliffs. Some little boats. And again. Slipways for taking boats in and out of the river sideways. These seats seem to be arranged so that you can watch the parking. A couple of minutes ago, I passed... A modern building. Namur, where I will be staying tonight. One of the places which was offering accommodation was the c... That footbridge looks a bit precarious. One place where I did seriously consider staying tonight is a boat. I think it's one of these two. T... Namur. From right to left, the flags of the city, province, country and continent, showing the converntion ... My hotel is next to the black parked car. In its description, it said that Le Copenhague was the nea... Namur station. There is a chance of rain tomorrow. If it does happen, it will probably be in the afternoon but it w... Namur. The hotel is more colourful inside than outside. I saw one review of this hotel which complained how slow the lift is. It seems okay to me. I have be... The room has good wide-opening windows. Still, there probably wasn't any need to have two pictures of them. The view. The castle. They are either much more concerned about people stealing the control for the air conditioning than ... "Cuisine non-stop" and indeed non-start. Namur. I passed the Damart factory on the first day of this ride. I didn't get a picture of it on that occa... Some heavy-duty supports. The view towards the castle at night, with Mars at the top of the picture. The thing which looked like a face in the previous picture is actually this. It must have some signi... As expected, the weather today is considerably duller than yesterday. A bad defect in the road. It's not obvious whether this section of towpath is meant to be closed or not. I carried on for a li... The signs for these RAVeL routes are generally very good. It didn't take me long to find this sign w... A stash of green and white bottle banks. Floreffe. A lone locomotive approaching a bridge. Another picture of it. A train. Gravel being loaded onto a canal boat. The shape of my trail along the River Sambre. A train loaded with coils of metal. Flats in Sambreville. This is the second bridge like this that I've seen today, It's like our version of ... The same bridge. Some shiny rubbish. More of these coils. A boat on the Sambre. There actually were meant to be two pictures of the boat. The same boat, at the point where I leave the River Sambre. The information board says that René Mag... Châtelet station. You can get surprisingly close to the mechanism for tensioning the power cables. It would be hard to pretend that this picture was deliberate. Another view of Châtelet station. For the next hour or so, I'll be following a disused railway line. This is where it branched off the... It looks like a new road is in the early stages of construction here. This will be where the new road goes over the cycle route. A rest stop and restaurant for cyclists. I was quite tempted to stop for some lunch here but there i... Railway lines. A unicorn. I didn't know Belgium had a Black Country. The entrance to some woods. The route through them was quite complicated and the cycle route signs d... The railway line was s short cut between the River Sambre and this, the Brussels-Charleroi Canal. Just here, it looks like the paths along both sides of the canal might be closed. The one on the lef... The view from a hill that I went over to avoid the closed path. There's a boat facing away from me in the lock. It must have come through here fairly recently but t... The grass on the banks is cut very short. I passed a tractor which was doing it. Machinery at a stone yard. The road into La Louvière. Place Maugrétout in La Louvière. This is where I'll be staying tonight. Based on my performance yest... The same place. My hotel is the building with antennas on the roof. It's got very good reviews but the one thing tha... I suppose this one is a bit quirky. This carpet is a bit much. It extends into my room as well but thankfully it isn't on the walls in there. It's just a box with some coloured squares on it. There's no reason why two white squares shouldn't ... I wasn't expecting this room to have a balcony. Admittedly, the view's not great but surprisingly, i... I now understand what ... I've found an undercover bike rack, at the station about ten minutes' walk from the hotel. The rain ... Now that I'm in the French-speaking world, I risked finding out what all-you-can-eat sushi is. It's not what I expected. You select what you want to eat on this tablet and the food gets brought t... The lamps around Place Maugrétout light the place up well but also add some slightly pointless patch... The station car park is a lot busier now than last night but mine is still the only bike here. I've ... There's another wolf sculpture in the middle of this picture. Art. I don't know what these are. SNCB, not to be confused with ... La Louvière. An old house. One of the canals in the area. You can't easily read them but the signs on this building say that lift number 1 is 821 metres to th... The new canal passing above a road junction. This canal was constructed in the late 20th Century bec... The hotel where I stayed last night is full tonight. I've got a room booked at this hotel instead. I... Another road under the canal. I know what that is! The canal has to drop by about 72 m within about 7 km as it passes La Louvière. That's too steep for... People for scale. The upper canal. The canal which heads North from La Louvière has something similar but there, the moving section of ... The moving section has now reached to bottom. The upper canal. Apparently, the door at the end can withstand an impact from a 2000 tonne boat at 5... A person on the towpath of the lifting section, next to some of the suspension cables. The door opening to connect the moving section to the lower canal. The man in the yellow jacket is p... I quite like that there's a car on the boat which is going into the lift. A large basin on the canal at Mons. Mons. I've tinkered with the contrast on this picture to make it more visible through the mist. A boat which I passed in a lock a little while ago. Mons. The Belfry of Mons. Details. A train wash. It looks like Mons is getting a new station building. Wiggly steps. The new station. The view from my room tonight is part of a church and the ramps of the old station. Stations are obviously a good place to find sheltered bike parking. I am using one of the big chain hotels tonight. It was one of the few places which had rooms availab... Parts for the new station. There's a bit missing. The Catholic Church. A loose gargoyle. Mons. The Pillory Fountain, built in 1779. Boules. Mons. A stepped alleyway. Behind the bars, just out of sight, there is a man painting a door blue. Wow, that tree has grown since I was last here, 14 years ago.... Looking down towards the main square. Mons. The clock tower shows the same time in three ways. There's a normal clock, a sundial which only maks... What I remember from passing through this square in ... Not just Belgian beer but Belgian Black Country beer. Mons. There are some strange-sounding places in that direction. The same structure. Why does a dentist need so many antennas? I get the impression that there's going to be an election in Belgium. An old bricked-up doorway in another alleyway. The big poster refers to the fact that Mons was a proper European City of Culture, although that was... It hasn't even started yet. The cycle lane is actually the only part of the road which still exists but it's being used. My first broken spoke of this trip. At least there are these handy white cubes to sit on while I fix... According to the signs, the middle part of this building is an old police station. Today's route the virtually straight road from Mons to Valenciennes. It's another absurdly short rid... A strange type of conker. Is this a sign of things to come? Roadworks beginning right on the French border.