Why limit yourself to one media, when you can use two? Enjoy the best of both, go nuts.
Or, as the case maybe, slip across the street for a glass of Jupiler at the Le Cheval de Fer (The Iron Horse).
That was my call any way. I visited Schaarbeek/Schaerbeek at the end of March.
Schaerbeek is a large station in suburban Brussels. Out front is a tram terminus where modern Flexity trams gather between runs. The station building is a classic, and just recently restored. The railway themed pub is nearby and in sight of the station.
SNCB is the Belgian national railway and it runs a lot of trains. While most trains don’t stop at Schaerbeek, there’s no shortage of action. In just a few minutes, I’d caught a variety of equipment passing.
Since I had three cameras and sunlight, I made the most of my brief time at this railway nexus.
Before long, pictures exposed and beer consumed, I was rolling along through cobble stone streets on one of the aforementioned Flexity trams.
At Leige (Liège-Guillemins) I boarded an InterCity train for Brussels and glided along in comfort along perfectly maintained track. At Bruxelles-Nord/Brussel-Noord (French and Flemish names appear randomly applied to Brussels stations—so far as I can tell) I changed to another express, this one destined for Antwerp.
I was aiming for Antwerpen Noorderdokken, a location I explored in March, where freight trains access the port of Antwerp. Another change of trains at Antwerp Central brought me to this station. As I walked toward my desired photo angle, I noticed a dark wall of clouds rolling in off the North Sea. (It had been clear and cloudless at Liege!)
Yet, I managed to photograph six freights before the sun vanished—mission accomplished. Boarding my eighth train of the day, I aimed to ride around Antwerp and then back toward Brussels.
By the end of the day, I’d visited eight locations and traveled on ten trains. Not too shabby for the first day of my August visit to Belgium.