On our way back to Brussels we encountered a tree!
This was no small tree it cut off four lanes of a highway and both directions of traffic, including our bus for over two hours. The good news? No one was hurt. That tree would have flattened any of the small gas friendly cars on the road and done serious damage to any moving vehicle. On top of stopping both directions of traffic, the other complicating factor was that the tree had pulled down, although did not snap a power line. Traffic ground to a slow crawl as the vehicles inched forward into a “sardine can” formation (if you have ever spent any time in a French or Quebec ski line? If so, you might have an idea what this started to look like).
Finally, a single fire truck arrived to the rescue. This event occurred in the middle of the afternoon on a Sunday in crappy weather…so it took awhile to arouse the one truck and crew. After accessing the pretty obvious situation these guys got to work rerouting the car traffic through a forest lane and on to a muddy farmers’ field for a couple kilometers until the next highway entrance. The heavy weights; buses and trucks could not make the detour due to weight, so had to wait.
Over the next two hours the fire crew got to work with the single chainsaw that they had. The chainsaw looked like a steak knife next to a dinosaur. So it took a long time. Nutmeg was impressed that the bus full of capable well-trained macho men offered many opinions but chose to leave the heavy work to the firemen. This event was a big deal on an otherwise uneventful Sunday afternoon. During the two-hour wait there was a fair amount of entertainment as there were visits from the local press, local police, electrical company and a few others like the woman driver who felt it was her “right” to drive on the road and the mini driver who felt the road was clear enough that he could get through…
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