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The culture that is Dutch

The walk, which Hezemans insisted can actually be arduous at points, starts at Eygelshoven railway station, near the town of Kerkrade, with the first goal being to reach the top of Wilhelminaberg, about 225 metres above sea level, a former spoil heap of the Wilhelmina coalmine, which was operational between 1906 and 1969.

A high point on the Dutch mountain trail is in fact a slag heap.

Next up is Gulperberg (155 metres above sea level): “That’s really a mountain, with a statue of Mother Mary on top, looking over the town of Gulpen – maybe the most mountainous mountain, with a cone shape.”

You work with the material you have I guess.

12 thoughts on “The culture that is Dutch”

  1. The highest hill in Cambridge is Castle Hill, where everyone from the Romans on built their fortifications. The second highest is the cycle bridge over the railway.

  2. “is in fact a slag heap”: no it bloody isn’t, unless they also had a metallurgical industry there.

    Christ, you’ve been out-facted by the Guardian.

    Be that as it may I am disappointed to infer that there is nowhere a “mountain” of discarded, worn-out clogs. That would be worth a diversion to see.

  3. Ah dearieme… That particular bump is a slag heap given that it also contains refuse from the Hoogovens at Ijmuiden. It was easier to boat the slag over the rivers and dump it there with the rest of the mining refuse. There’s a couple of them along the route..
    It’s also one of the most polluted and heavily protected places in Clogland, given it’s leaching out heavy metals. Which allows a set of extremely rare pioneers to grow there, given that everything else won’t. Which, of course, means it’s a grade AAA conservation site while at the same time being an industrial dump.
    Politics and regulations in action….

    And we don’t have a mountain of clogs.. Why waste good firewood at the end of its useful life?….
    That mountain went into the farm stoves and burners.

    And yes… Clogland is flat…tish.. We’ve got the glacial end morenes in the middle and the northernmost tip of the Ardennes in the south, that’s it.
    But what else do you expect from a country that’s essentially the entirety of the Rhine and Meuse coastal floodplain?
    We haven’t got much, and it isn’t high, but everything is goddamn steep, as this habitual cyclist who’s also done UK and Germany can attest to.

  4. ooh.. almost forgot…

    Traditionally split clogs were used as firestarters during the seasonal burning piles of whatever needed burning..
    Fill clog with pitch/grease/wax-drenched straw ( traditional embellishment of the clog optional ), light it with some ceremony to get the central fire going, then start tossing the rest on as needed/what the fire can take.

    It’s sort-of where the Wicker went over here.

  5. A slag heap – fight amongst the girls in an Essex night club

    Fill clog with pitch/grease/wax-drenched straw and put into catapult. What they did before they had cannons.

    My bro lives out that way. They still envy the Belgies for having a nicer landscape.

  6. Puts me in mind of the Les Monts de Flandres. Mont Noir, Mont Kemmel & Mont des Cats* visible from the salon window. Bethune colliery spoil heap from the kitchen. I think Bethune may be higher. Dept Nord makes Holland look positively mountainous.

    *The Abbaye on the top is populated by Trappist monks. Not great conversationalists but they do knock out superb cheese from the milk from their herd of cows. The cows are more chatty.

  7. Stttt Otto… We’re trying to keep that particular use of clogs in Historian territory, lest TPTB catch on and try to ban clogs as well in an attempt to disarm our farmers before things get really ugly…

    So we keep things to Quaint Rural Customs… m’kaayy?

  8. An aside. I was always under the impression that the cats in Mont des Cats was an early example of franglais like the Dogue de Bordeaux breed. But looked it up & apparently not. Named after some long vanished tribe. Obviously not the fucking Roma, then. ( You might have to be Lillois to comprehend the particular venom expressed)

  9. “They still envy the Belgies for having a nicer landscape”. When i had a job out that way swapped between Breda (Ned) and Antwerp (Bel) polderdykweg was the road IIRC. Looked out the window in the Antwerpian outskirts.could see a couple of refineries, a chemicals works and a nuclear a power station (that may well have been in Ned). Beautiful. Looked out the window in Breda saw some very well fed and happy cows.

  10. Grikath
    They had to keep the Clog Weapon secret and stop it falling into the wrong hands.. It’s a bit like Greek Fire.

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