Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Before I forget it - Liège

Ten days ago we visited Liège, which is only a little over an hour on the motorway. Often when we have passed the traffic control tower at Liège airport on our way to France, we have said we must go there some time. Otherwise you are normally more inclined to go through Belgium as quickly as possible because the motorways are in such bad condition. You tend to just sit it out, listening to music or planning the rest of your life or similar cerebral activity. But now we thought we would give it a go!

We had no time to book an interesting hotel or B&B and ended up staying at a central Ibis, which caters for your basic needs at a decent price. Since the country is made up of (still a very distinct division!) two regions-cultures-languages they sometimes find a third language a bit hard to master, hence this example of "English".

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Is that a particular species of bird that descends from above and inserts its sharp claws into your soft flesh?

We found the writer George Simenon still sitting on a bench plotting his next Commissaire Maigret case.

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Liège is an old industrial city, which has seen some hard times, but now seemed to be on the up, exemplified by all the building work going on. It reminded me of Liverpool, which also saw a downturn and is now being rejuvenated. There was an interesting mix of old/degenerated, old/ugly-sixties and trendy modern. Along the river Meuse we found lovingly restored houses on one side and high-rise blocks of flats on the other. On the pretty side were quite a few houseboats, making it all very attractive.

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Interesting art was abundant.

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We walked a lot, and had to climb these 406 steps ...

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... to see this view of central Liège.

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All that exercise made us feel a "craven" and we were lucky enough to find a floating restaurant.

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The menu was, as expected, rather short, but they served a good snack/lunch and I felt compensated for all the plodding along the river and up steep hillsides. I knew the place better now, not only the local football team, Standard Liège, beaten not long ago by my team, Liverpool FC. Perhaps that was why I compared Liège to Liverpool before, and perhaps also this picture above my head in the restaurant.

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2 comments:

traveler one said...

That was a nice (and informative) virtual trip to Liege! Thanks for sharing :)

swenglishexpat said...

T1 - Glad you liked it!