Travels

EU slag!

Posted

Thursday 9 May 2019

After yesterday’s teaser, the wait is over; slag heaps!

I’d toured a coal mine in Blegny, Belgium, so didn’t feel the need to go into the visitor centre of 11/19 pit head

but, on behalf of all vicarious travellers, I climbed to the top of one slag heap to take a picture of the other.

You’re welcome. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site after all. Similar heaps dotted the landscape, testifying to the scale of mining in the region, very reminiscent of Cornwall and Wales.

I’d had a pleasant ride along countryside cycle paths to get there, and followed others to eat my packed lunch in the sunny park at Louvre-Lens. I then had a look around the town centre. Not much to see there. I shall bid adieu to Lens tomorrow.

A couple of things.

You’d have thought the French would be happy that a Pain au Raisin is called Pain au Raisin, it being French and all. However, the local Lidl sells them as Escargot Raisin! Also French, bien sur, and, apparently, a thing, so they will forever be Escargot Raisin to me!

Finally, as I cycled to look at slag this morning, I was so startled to see a face sticking through a wall and looking up at me it took about 30 metres for my brain to process it. Turning around I found a poor guy, in his sixties I guess and broad of girth, lying on his side, jammed in a gap between the end of the wall and a brick post about half a metre square. The gap was a good 15cm narrower than he was. How the fork he’d got there I couldn’t imagine. It was as if he’d been demonstrating Dellboy leaning on a bar that was no longer there!

It was a perfect storm of circumstances conspiring to keep him trapped. One arm was jammed beneath him, therefore useless. The ground sloped towards his head meaning his feet were in the air so he couldn’t push with them. I, of course, had a good laugh at him before riding away.

No, seriously, I did; he was too heavy to move!

OK, yes, I dragged him out.

It’s a funny old world.

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