Living large on a living barge – 10

by Tom Miller
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Tom and family are touring Europe by barge. This is the tenth in his series of reports on what is to be six months per year of cruising the waterways there.
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Maastricht was our last stop in The Netherlands. We knew we would miss the warm friendly Dutch and their beautiful country.  At least we still had Wilco, viagra our barge Captain.  Our next stop was Liege, buy Belgium.
IMG_5470

View of Liege waterfront at night from our galley (kitchen)


Beautiful, historic Liege Cathedral

Beautiful, historic Liege Cathedral

We passed through Liege on our last barge, but never had any desire to stop there.  That was a mistake.  We arrived in the early evening, but after dinner we took a walk around town.  Liege had a dynamic metropolitan center full of active, dancing, laughing, and smiling people. The square with its huge cathedral and bountiful flowerbeds was amazing. The city had this wonderful beat, a life of its own that forced you to like it. We strolled through a residential area and found a band playing for a couple hundred people in the middle of the street.  Lisa, Ilana and I then went back to Rabelo along the riverfront passing old barges that were now homes, exciting artwork and the Liege Aquarium.

Artwork over the canal just behind us

Artwork over the canal just behind us

 

More artwork

More artwork

Once back on Rabelo it was

A band we found set up in the middle of the street

A band we found set up in the middle of the street

time for dessert. Lisa had made some delicious baked apples. I just love the cinnamon and raisins in the center, and of course they needed ice cream.  Remember, one cannot survive without vast quantities of ice cream. After dessert I started to wash the dishes and found a wonderful surprise waiting for me just outside the kitchen window. The bridge in front of us was all lit up.  Lisa noted that the bridge behind us was also illuminated and changing colors.  It was a Kodak moment that I didn’t want to miss. I forgot about the dishes, and instead took out the tripod.  Here are some nice long exposure shots I was able to get. (Insert image IMG_5470 with caption, “The view from our kitchen window without the window.”)(Insert image IMG_5479 with caption, “Liege at night.”)

Liege at night

Liege at night

From Liege we went to Namur, Belgiun where we picked up our friend and fellow Heartbreak Hiking Fool, Steve. I may not have mentioned that Lisa and I are avid hikers, and members of a not so elite hiking group called the Heartbreak Hiking Fools (HHF).  Congratulations to the HHF Whitney team.  Seventeen of our members assaulted the tallest mountain in the continental United States, and all seventeen succeeded.  The park rangers wanted to know who emptied out the geriatric facility?

After retrieving Steve at the train station we walked back to Rabelo with our exhausted traveler and his luggage in tow. We boarded Rabelo, and immediately left for Dinant, Belgium.  The locks were closing for the night in just 1.5 hours, so we were not going to go very far.   We had been on the Muese River for almost a week, and frankly the scenery hadn’t been all that great.  In fact, the river had been mostly lined with factories and power plants.  That was about to change.  Less than two miles outside of Namur the Muese River turned into a pristine waterway surrounded by lush vegetation and the occasional mansion, but it was starting to get late.  We needed to find a place to moor, and didn’t have much time.  Were we lucky!  We found the most incredible place to tie up.  I’m talking amazing, but I’ll have to save the details for my next installment.

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THEWAVE_sig11Tom Miller is an adventure writer from Thousand Oaks. His novel The Wave, about a tsunami destroying Honolulu was published in 2010. Tom has a degree in geology, has been a contractor and developer, prolific diver, pilot, sailor, and barge captain. When he’s not chasing adrenalin overseas, he hikes with the local “Heartbreak Hiking Fools.” LIVING BARGE is his memory of his recent six month journey through the canals of Europe with his wife Lisa.

 

 

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Previous installments: 

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-9/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-8/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-barge-7-2/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-6/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-5/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-4/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-3/

 https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge-2/

https://citizensjournal.us/living-large-on-a-living-barge/

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