Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Liege

Those of you that knew me back then might remember that I spent a lot of the early nineties tour managing, ie taking British groups on tours around Britain and the Continent.

For complex reasons I won’t go into here, I spent a lot (and I mean a lot) of that time staying with coach groups in the very pleasant Belgian city of Liege. So for that reason, I was especially horrified to hear today’s news story about the shootings and explosions there. I know the Place Saint Lambert, where they took place, very well indeed. In fact I often went there to visit the Christmas Market which is on at the moment.

Of course, hearing about this sort of thing is always upsetting but when you know the place well, when you can imagine exactly where the reporters and witnesses are describing, it has a particularly disturbing resonance.

For most people, tourism in Belgium follows a well trodden and highly touristy path around the Flemish cities of Bruges, Ghent and Brussels. So working in Wallonia, the French-speaking Southern part of the country, was refreshingly different and I can to some extent thank the citizens of Liege for helping me to learn and to speak French, albeit with limitations!

Thus I’ve always had a fondness for the place, despite not having been there now for the best part of a decade I should think.

Chers Liegeois, je pense a vous.

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