Day 3 – 6 april 2016 From St-Amand-les-Eaux (F) to Scourmont (B)
By: Nikol Salen (English arrangement: Dirk Devreese)
First of all, we want to behold, with our own eyes, Vieux Condé and Condé-sur-l’Escaut .
In the internet it looks attractive those villages on the shores of the river Schelde. Disappointing when you see it life. Only seen from the air it offers a nice view.
We continue for Quiévrain.
The name makes ring a bell in or long-time-memory. Quiévrinn was mentioned for years on the radio, as a place where doves were released.
Why at Quiévrain? Because it lies on the border?
Was someone afraid the border would hold back the doves? Would these birds be afraid to cross human borders? J
But there is a fair chance that the pigeon fancier was not allowed to cross the border with living animals.
Diseases you know….and taxes maybe?
We might find this out one day.
We have the ‘histoire de Quiévrain’ with us on paper.
So that means reading and translating with a coffee.
Funny, it seems Quiévrain was visited by several powerful historical figures. You can find the story on the internet: Quiévrain
Once pass Quiévrain, the route opens in all her beauty.
Easy to follow on the map.
The landscape through the province of Hainaut is just simply beautiful with soft spring-green rolling hills. We love it!
The border village Erquelinnes will be the exquisite place for a lunch.
At least on the map it looked good.
We imagined a cosy terrace along the water….
What a nasty blow. Erquelinnes is ugly enough to stop a clock!!
Maybe this should not be a surprise.
Most of the villages on the border between Belgium and France are ugly as sin.
It looks like a lot of tobacco is sold at the Belgian side. Is it more expensive in France? Together with a chaos of casino’s and chocolate shops, it blots the view.
As from Aibes to Scourmont, the road is just splendid with great views to enjoy.
We have an address to spend the night in our pocket: “Auberge de Poteaupré”.
Luckily we arrive on time and there is still a superb place for us.
Check in and unload the bike…Guess what! The rain is bucketing down.
And we didn’t get a drop during the ride. That is timing, isn’t it!
We make a small walk through the rain, up to visit the monastery of Scourmont.
Monks brew the Chimay Trappist here…..ssst!
An austere church, a clean enclosed garden and a frightening churchyard…
We have a small talk with a monk originating from the Westvleteren abbey where, again they brew trappist beer.
That is enough of a trigger: back to our sleeping-place, time for a beer! A trappist from Chimay …of course.
In the inn, we enjoy the comfort of a good meal and a couple of beers. That promises an excellent night.