2018/11/03 – Belgium – Jalhay, Blegny


Saturday 3rd November & Sunday 4th November

Our campsite for two nights:  Parking Barrage de la Gileppe, Jalhay – GPS N50.587570.  E5.969600

Before preparing the last post we published in Germany WordPress (the software for this site) updated to a Gutenberg editor – just what I needed was something more to learn with only a few more posts to do (not) so apologies as there were a lot of formatting errors in the last post and probably will be in this one.

We could not find new places now in this part of Germanyas we have been through this area before, so decided to bite the bullet andhead across the border into Belgium.

No border checks at all so entry into Belgium again was seamless.

A much nicer day today with no rain so really enjoyed the drive through the Autumn drenched forests and hillsides – awesome – so spectacular!

This is a gratis Stellplatz which has dedicated spots for 4 motorhomes only and 4 electric points at no cost.  Have not seen this very often in our travels.  We were lucky enough to get the last spot.

Looking across the dam from the lower restaurant

This place is really popular and so busy with the car park and all adjoining streets full by lunchtime.   Again set on a huge lake with cycle and walking tracks for miles. 

High on the hill overlooking the dam, there is a structure that is three storeys high with a restaurant at the top.  From the top there are 360 degree panoramic views.  

The dam wall is massive and the centre span includes a 20 metre high statue of Leopold the Lion  who guards the water and valleys.   The walk across the dam walls is really spectacular and today with the weather being a little better, the locals really came out to enjoy this.

Day two came with not a cloud to be seen.  The carpark filled very quickly and by 10am cars were double and triple parked with no spots anywhere and once any Moho vacated, cars quickly took their places with eventually Ziggy sitting all alone surrounded by cars. 

Took the opportunity of such a beautiful (but still really cold day) to do one of the many long walks so once across the dam walls we walked through the reservoir forest and along the lake.  Couples, families all with man’s best friend in tow  (can’t believe how important dogs are to Europeans) were everywhere walking and cycling and enjoying probably one of the last sunny days left this year (hope not). 

The autumn shades seen on one of the hikes around the lake

The views across the lake were stunning and again the trees in full Autumn colours now drenched with sunlight were spectacular.  Autumn in Europe is really special.

Several hours later we returned and enjoyed a hot chocolate (for the navigator) and one of our favourite beers – Jupiler (for the driver) at the lakefront restaurant.

Monday 5th November

Our campsite for tonight:  Begny-Mine, Blegny – GPS N50.686138. E5.723820

A UNESCO world heritage site, this mine was really interesting.   It is out of season now so only option of viewing the mine was to go with a tour group of Dutch retirees with a Dutch guide but with the aid of English audio headsets.  Super information through audio but really missed the jokes the guide was sharing with the group.  Well worth a visit if in the area.

Memorial to the miners

The mine closed several years ago but is a top attractionin the area.  While we were there severalbusloads of kids, teenagers and old folk like us took group tours.  

The Navigator getting the stretcher ready for me

Great location to just stop and take in thesurroundings with playgrounds for the kids, an open air museum and an animalpark for the little ones (which the navigator also enjoyed).  The brasserie was also well utilised by thegroups and Moho owners.

About a 15 minute walk into town where there was little life to be seen and the church being the only point of interest worth photographing.

You want us to go down there???

The Stellplatz  itself was great and very peaceful once the gates closed in the evening.  Great complimentary facilities including water and use of the mines restroom during the day.

Tuesday 6th November

Our campsite for tonight:  Park Olmental, Herk de Stad – GPS N50.934059.   E5.166150

Beautiful setting in a wonderful park with water fountains, a picturesque lake (where fishermen sat for hours on end) and caught nothing and a beaver pond.  We went in search of the beaver but this part of the lake had dried up and the Beavers were long gone.

Great little town with heaps of shops with very expensive clothing in shop windows – the price was enough to scare me away – but did lots of window shopping.

Again a gratis site with a very new WC block where men and women went through the same door and the wash basin was right next to the urinal – so pleased the navigator did not strike anyone of the opposite sex while visiting!

Lots of automatic bread and sandwich dispensers in Belgium

Wednesday 7th November

Our campsite for tonight:  Parking Demervallei, Aarschott – GPS N50.984921.   E4.840760

Really worth visiting here.  A really trendy, funky town with a waterway running through the middle of it.  We arrived late so by the time we hit the town, it was getting dark so could not take pictures.  Very pretty walk in the evening with the cathedral well lit up and the streets now with Xmas trimmings was delightful.

Dropped into a trendy little bar where we had to choose from about a hundred different types of beers.  

Woke up to a glorious sunny cloudless day so armed with camera headed back into town to find the photo opportunities we missed last night.   Market day today prevented us from getting photos of the uniquely Belgish town square which was a little disappointing.

Just had to visit the cathedral (just love visiting these) and were rewarded with an exhibition gallery of photos of Armistice Day back in 1918.  The town is gearing up for celebrations for the coming weekend which is the 100th anniversary.

Laughed his head off???

We are keen to be part of these celebrations and wonder where we will be on the 11th – Ypres maybe?.

The Navigator negotiating in Belgish?to buy a cooked chicken at the open air markets

Great complimentary Stellplatz again with electricity included.

Thursday 8th November

Sadly left just after lunch after deliberating for some time about staying here until Sunday – Armistice Day.  Still so much of Belgium to see and now only days left before we head across the channel.

With only 75 kms to our next stop, no more than an hour on the motorway my driver said, took us nearly three hours with delays and detours that took us round and round with seemingly no way to get past them – very frustrating!

Our campsite for tonight:  Parking Lennik – GPS N50.807800.  E4.163050

Arrived as the sun disappeared but were happy to get the remaining spot (only 4 here but really pretty setting).  No walks tonight but hopefully in the morning.