Friday, 2 November 2012

Maastricht treat


The Eifel mountains extend into Belgium and so, in sunshine, I drove into that country.
As it happens, my Satnav took me past the Signal de Botrange (694m), the highest point in Belgium, located in the Hautes Fagnes. I have been there before, but I could not resist bagging it again.  

Via ferrata descent route from tower

In 1923, the Belgians built a six-metre-high tower on the summit to round off the altitude to 700m.

Not true
 Just down the road is another 'summit' listed on the Peakbagger website, the Baraque Michel (674m). Apparently, before the annexation of the Eastern Cantons by Belgium in 1919, it was the highest point of Belgium.
I think this cow was at the highest point.

Chapel at Baraque Michel
Another hill listed on Peakbagger is Sint Pietersberg, near Maastricht, Nederland. It forms a ridge between Nederland and Belgium.
You'd think that, because they have so few hills, the Dutch would leave this hill alone. Far from it, it has been mined and quarried since Paleolithic times. Even now, there is a huge limestone quarry in the middle.

Even so, there is still a pleasant walk through woodland on the outer edges. I managed to get in a ten kilometre walk as dusk descended. And to make sure I bagged it, I visited all the tops.

I had planned to stop the night in the carpark, but I was moved on by the police and therefore headed back into Belgium.

Quarrying on Sint-Pietersberg

Is this the summit?
Or is this it? More likely, the other one

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