Snow in the High Fens: Soaked, but actually.

Intro

On the 9th week of 2020, it finally snowed in Belgium. In Leuven, where I live, it all melted within the day. I had been waiting for snow to fall all winter, so despite Covid-19[1] spreading across the continent it was time to put on my boots and go back to the highest regions of the country in the hopes I’d see some nice wet white. My biggest concern was the prospect of the little pathways being full of people with the same idea, but turns out only the immediate area at the main road’s pitstops like Signal de Botrange were really full.

The photos

Now, time for about 50 photos.

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The Jehova’s Witnesses are a dedicated bunch.

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Tea and care at Baraque Michel

Remember how I said I got soaked last time? Little did I know. This time, I actually fell into ice-cold water to my upper thighs repeatedly, basically due to the same mistake I made last time coupled with the snow obscuring everything even more.

After I managed to get back to the main, intact path, I still had about 20 minutes to walk until I got back to the road cutting through the High Fens, at Baraque Michel. I went to the road restaurant and asked if I could warm and dry myself up. The manager, who was serving behind the counter, led me to a backroom, gave me an old pair of leggings to wear, a towel to dry my legs and put my cold soaked pants in a drying machine. My toes were blue but I could feel them, so I guess I wasn’t in immediate danger [2]. I ordered some black tea while waiting and charged my phone (which had run out of battery a bit before that).
The manager returned with my dried pants, she also gave me old socks and two plastic bags to put over my feet to protect them from the totally drenched boots. When I wanted to pay, they refused. I tried to insist on paying for the tea at least, but was told to just come back and order food next time I’m in the region. Which I certainly will; so this is a shout-out to the staff at the Baraque Michel restaurant, thank you.

Baraque Michel◎ Baraque Michel
Photo of the Baraque Michel restaurant, from December


  1. Unbeknown to me at the time, but as it turns out, Eupen, the city I stay in when I’m in the region, was having the first Covid-19 contamination case in Belgium occuring in someone with no travel history to Italy or China. Oops.

  2. Yeah I don’t know how hypothermia works, this is my guess.

updatedupdated2020-06-192020-06-19