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Old May 28th, 2012, 07:21 PM   #81
christos-greece
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Your updates are also very nice, great
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Old May 28th, 2012, 07:22 PM   #82
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And Charleroi is called the belgian...Detroit, but that's not in the UK

(I think mid-northern US, wisconsin, michigan etc... is comparable to Belgium in some ways)
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Old May 28th, 2012, 07:26 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tchek View Post
And Charleroi is called the belgian...Detroit, but that's not in the UK

(I think mid-northern US, wisconsin, michigan etc... is comparable to Belgium in some ways)
In terms of industry Detroit, Cleveland, and Buffalo could be similar. But the level of abandonment and destruction is MUCH greater in the American cities.

Also, most buildings, especially housing, would be made of wood in those cities. To see this kind of brick row housing you would have to be on the north east coast. Probably Baltimore, Philadelphia and places like Chester Pennsylvannia would look the most similar to Belgium, at least physically.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 07:28 PM   #84
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Ah yes, those people in Lille next to track you saw was a typical gypsy slum/camp. Most of time those camps will be bulldozed...
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Old May 28th, 2012, 08:17 PM   #85
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Love the pictures of Gent. I'm also looking forward to the other photos in this set.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 09:31 PM   #86
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Day 1 in Ghent continued...

My host picked me up at the station, took me to his home and let me settle in. As he had other commitments I was able to explore the city a bit more on my own. I still wasn’t going to the touristy area as I would go there the next day with him. My idea was to explore the area just short of the center and also try to find the building where the Treaty of Ghent was signed in 1812.

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It was pointed out to me by my host that those were some hold working class homes built for the workers in the textile mills.

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This river was right out the front door of where I stayed. My host had to constantly correct me, as some have here too, that this is a river rather than a canal.

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Peniches and cranes everywhere in Ghent.

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A very old church tower for some reason not maintained.

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My host told me about this old area that was like a convent (not exactly, but similar) where nuns and other religious people had lived for hundreds of years. It was interesting and amazingly old.

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Note the date.

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I didn’t really know it yet, but when I look at it now I see this church was built in the Flemish style.

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Ah, I’ve forgetting to note this. Look at the trees. Often on this trip in both France and Belgium I would see trees like this that seemed to have their branches cut short. I was told this was done on purpose. I am not sure why they do this nor how it effects the trees.

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I then walked into a big park which was really more of a long mall (Konnigs I think???). This was a war memorial.

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There was a protest here by students against the repression by the Syrian government. Even though it was small and peaceful there were a bunch of police nearby

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This was nice to see - all these beautiful waterways were used by people such as these kayakers.

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Jeepers, is it possible to take a picture in Belgium without a crane being in it?

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An interesting little bridge.

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This probably comes in handy after a night of drinking Belgian beer.

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Not sure what that interesting looking structure is.

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I then came to this which looked like an old technical high school. I couldn’t tell if it was still in use.

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Ok, here is a closer picture of a small crane. These things were all over the place and seeemed to be used even on small 3 story structures. The person operating it was on the street. Note the suspended weight up in the air. They were left that way when not in use, I guess to keep it properly balanced. There weren’t a lot of safety precautions - you could walk right underneath them. For the jobs these cranes do in the US they would use mobile cranes. Not sure why they prefer these in Europe.

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Can’t remember what this building was...

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Maybe an old textile factory.

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What a nice house that would be!!

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I then headed back down to a pub called the “Back Door” where my host was going to meet me.

Opposite the pub they had this interesting bike rack:

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I then got a full immersion to Belgian beer of which there is a lot:

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Even though it was a week night the streets and bars were full of students drinking. Apparently they party during the week as I am told that on weekends they go home to their families, which is very different from the US way of doing things.

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The thing about this beer is that it is very strong. 8 to 10% alcohol as opposed to 5% in a normal beer.

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This glass had a round bottom which was supposed to effect the beer. Hence the wood piece holding it up.

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I also had some Belgian fries (quite good) and a heavy black stew which was ok. The next morning I had an upset stomach but I had such a bad hangover I’m not sure what it was from. It could have been from the beer.

Thus ended my first partial day in Ghent. I had barely scratched the surface of what I was to see.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 09:57 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 600West218 View Post
I then walked into a big park which was really more of a long mall (Konnigs I think???). This was a war memorial.
Koning Albert I park - although most people refer to it as Zuidpark (South Park). It's where the city's original main railway station, Gent-Zuid (Ghent-South) used to be, until Saint-Peter's was built.

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Jeepers, is it possible to take a picture in Belgium without a crane being in it?
No, that's practically impossible. That's pretty much the view I have from my bedroom. Can't remember what it used to look like without a crane standing there...

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Not sure what that interesting looking structure is.
It's an old tea pavilion. Probably belonged to a 19th century townhouse. Very victorian

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I then came to this which looked like an old technical high school. I couldn’t tell if it was still in use.
You're right, it used to be a technical high school. The school moved out of there a couple of years ago. It's currently being used as a party hall and as a film studio for a popular police series on Belgian television (Code 37).

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Can’t remember what this building was...
The old Courthouse. A new one was built a bit more up north, now only the court of appeal still resides there I think.

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Maybe an old textile factory.
An old monastery, now it's part of the University. They use it for receptions, mostly. It dates from around the year 1200. But I wouldn't be surprised if it has functioned as a textile factory at some point in the 19th century. Apparently pretty much everything was a textile factory back then.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 09:58 PM   #88
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Quote:
Jeepers, is it possible to take a picture in Belgium without a crane being in it?
lol
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Old May 28th, 2012, 10:13 PM   #89
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Thing is that every structure in the Benelux is build of bricks and stone. Therefore when renovating old homes or building new homes people hire such a crane to lift the stones up the upper floors. Even new homes have two layers of brick walls in Belgium. Using a moblie crane for months isn't really practical...

I made this thread once about Belgian suburban housing: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...234257&page=10
It's pretty long but page 9 and 10 have good immages.

In this pic you can see what I mean with double brick walls:

http://i400.photobucket.com/albums/p...5/DSCN1308.jpg

Edit: A titpical wall: http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/4650/img3920jh5.jpg
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Old May 28th, 2012, 10:31 PM   #90
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Quote:
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Edit: A titpical wall:
Freudian slip?
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Old May 28th, 2012, 10:35 PM   #91
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maybe, was i thinking about tits hmmmm can't remember

@ 600 west; You tasted quite some beers
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Old May 28th, 2012, 10:54 PM   #92
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maybe, was i thinking about tits hmmmm can't remember
That pub, The Back Door, will do that to you.

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@ 600 west; You tasted quite some beers
My host picked them all out for me. All I did was drink them and get real messed up. Thank god I brought lots of headache medicine with me
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Old May 28th, 2012, 11:01 PM   #93
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Quote:
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Thing is that every structure in the Benelux is build of bricks and stone. Therefore when renovating old homes or building new homes people hire such a crane to lift the stones up the upper floors. Even new homes have two layers of brick walls in Belgium. Using a moblie crane for months isn't really practical...

I made this thread once about Belgian suburban housing: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...234257&page=10
It's pretty long but page 9 and 10 have good immages.

In this pic you can see what I mean with double brick walls:

http://i400.photobucket.com/albums/p...5/DSCN1308.jpg

Edit: A titpical wall: http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/4650/img3920jh5.jpg
Why do they make the walls double brick??

I saw many houses like that from the train. They seemed like nice suburban houses. But I can't imagine they can keep building those for very long. After a while they will run out of space and they probably don't want to keep losing valuable farm land.

Later when traveling through Flanders around Ypres I was impressed how the paved roads were basically only one lane ride. I think they keep even the roads to conserve all the space possible for agriculture.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 11:23 PM   #94
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Quote:
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I saw many houses like that from the train. They seemed like nice suburban houses. But I can't imagine they can keep building those for very long. After a while they will run out of space and they probably don't want to keep losing valuable farm land.
That's THE Flemish problem you just mentioned. That's why people don't come to Flanders for it's natural beauty. Frankly , even I'm a bit ashamed about the lack of green in my country and the lack of decent urban planning. The main problem is that most Flemings want to live in a detached house with a garden in spite of the large population density. Flanders seems a bit the New Jersey of Europe.

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Later when traveling through Flanders around Ypres I was impressed how the paved roads were basically only one lane ride. I think they keep even the roads to conserve all the space possible for agriculture.
I don't think that has anything to do with it. Most of the food is nowadays imported and farmers make about a half percent of the population. Every year lot's of farmland is converted into 'usable land' (housing, industry, ...)

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Why do they make the walls double brick??
It has to do with humidity (and also insulation if I'm not mistaken). It's called a cavity wall. See here for explanation. It's so normal for us that it's funny to see some people seems surprised about it.

Double brick walls also make the house very strong (stronger than eg. a wooden house ).

Last edited by De Klauw; May 28th, 2012 at 11:38 PM.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 12:31 AM   #95
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Roma Gypsies, there are a lot of Roma in France especially in big cities, you must have seen some in Paris they are in groups and they always try to rip off tourists and steal phones etc... They are a very big problem for the image of the country.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 12:50 AM   #96
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Roma Gypsies, there are a lot of Roma in France especially in big cities, you must have seen some in Paris they are in groups and they always try to rip off tourists and steal phones etc... They are a very big problem for the image of the country.
Actually, I never saw them anywhere else. At least that I know of.

Are they citizens? where are they from?
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Old May 29th, 2012, 01:03 AM   #97
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Since the abolition of border controls in the EU some (let's not exaggerate the problem) Roma migrate from Eastern Europe to Western Europe. Roma are known for their deviant, nomadic lifestyle, living in camps rather than houses and are mostly unemployed (and no, that's not a racist comment) and because of cultural reasons uneducated (in Roma culture little value is attached to education).

Most Roma are citizens of Eastern European countries like Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria (now all EU-members)..

Last edited by De Klauw; May 29th, 2012 at 02:59 AM.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 02:28 AM   #98
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I love this thread! stunning job!


I also wonder why they cut those trees anyone know why?
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Old May 29th, 2012, 02:51 AM   #99
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To keep them in form? So that they not grow to large and have nicely shaped crown I guess... I'm so used to the fact that trees in urban area's are cut like that, that i never even wondered why they would not do the same around the world. It's called pollarding.

Pollarded trees in my own town: http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/a...N/P2010200.jpg
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Old May 29th, 2012, 03:17 AM   #100
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600West218, you seem completely obsessed by canals
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