Are you a Shock Tourist?

Travel is not a one size fits all commodity. There are many ways of enjoying travel and just as each one of us is unique then what we do and see on our travels is too. Even if we visit the same places our experiences will not be the same. My travel tends to be budget orientated and to include physical activity such as walking, hiking or even snowboarding. I find destinations that are not tourist magnets, interesting, especially if they include Industrial Archaeology.

Of course there is also Luxury Travel, Adventure Travel, Cruising, Camping, Glamping, and even Shock Tourism, which is quite close to my liking, the list is seemingly endless. Last week, I gave Joelle a lift to Charleroi, not a town to be found high on many tourists’ “must visit” lists for Belgium. Nevertheless, I found the old spoil heaps slowly greening over and the old industrial heritage to be quite a draw. Two preserved headframes were visible over the buildings, so I made my way through the Marcinelles quarter to see them. They belonged to the former Le P├ęchon mine and now stood in an urban park. Sadly, they have been fenced off and allowed to slowly rust away. However the Bois du Cazier Mine has been preserved a memorial and visitor centre to respect the 262 victims who perished on 8 August 1956 in Belgium’s worst mining disaster.

Of course if one is to find ghosts, Bois du Cazier, might be a good place to look.