Alle ist gut.

Decided to stay on the free site in Alle for another day as the campsite we’d planned to go to was so close it made little difference. Strolled by the river then into the town. Alle and the Semois region has a history of tobacco growing and production and we kept finding references to this. On the outskirts of the town we followed a sign along a side road and, after about 500m, there was a site where a guy was preparing slate blocks – and then we wandered into his mine!It appeared to be a former, or rarely open, place people could visit. Back in the town there were small surprises everywhere as if a very low key arts festival was underway. Knitted artwork in trees, poems about fish placed in empty fountains, colourful squares floating in a recently restored wash house,and more…These temporary works supplemented the small permanent gifts to passers by that many houses had displayed in gardens and on walls. The residents of Alle appeared generous in their efforts to create interest and a pleasant atmosphere. Since our first night in Spa, where two guys were in the same restaurant, we have not seen any Brits. The guy at the kayak place here said they rarely see Brits and there has been very little English in information or on signs, and locals speak little English. French dominates, Flemish is secondary, putting my basic French to the test. I’ve been surprised by how much has come back to me. Loving Belgium and the Belgians, and Alle is delightful. It is not a tourist town, what it does is for itself, but people are welcoming. Everyone we pass lets on with a cheery bonjour and we enjoyed the first half of the France v Belgium match in good company at the aptly named Au Roy De La Biere, the King of Beers.
As everyone knows, I don’t give a shit about football, but I was really sorry Belgium lost. The good people of Alle deserved a win.

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