Sunday, 20 December 2009

Driving in Belgian snow....

One of the joys of living in Belgium (yes - there are some) is the ease with which one can reach other countries. Coming from an Island, its something that has really changed my life. I've driven all over the place - if you never drove through the Alps, its a must, believe me!

One of my favourite pastimes is camping, and I am particularly fond of the Ardennes. In fact, I just got back from there. This trip was always going to be a challenge - it is bloody cold. I wasn't quite ready to find my tent half buried in snow when I woke up a few days ago, but it was a pleasant surprise. Taking the tent down at -7 degrees was also a bit of a challenge, but I managed it without losing fingers.

The drive back was "interesting..."

The French had managed to get even the side roads realtively clear before lunchtime, but crossing the border in Belgium, the story was, predictably, different. OK, I was ready for it. What I wasn't ready for was what I found on the E19 motorway.

The road was cleared and salted, and traffic was moving at about 100kph. Suddenly I could see ahead of me where the snowplough had turned off into a side-road.... Suddenly I went from a clean road to black ice and 3 foot snow drifts. The Belgian drivers around me seemed not to notice, and carried on chatting into their mobiles, lighting cigars, and swigging beer. My heart actually stopped for a few moments, until the Belgian driving 3 inches behind me, as is the custom here, started flashing his lights and waving at me.

Forget Italians, Egyptians, and Russians - when it comes to driving, Belgians are the world's biggest twats.