When I told my Belgian friend Johan that my sister Constance and I would be staying in the hotel across from the Guillemins train station, he said, “You will see the most amazing train station in Belgium.” Guillemins was near the historic heart of Liege.
I was looking forward to seeing something old and elegant, like Grand Central Station in New York. It was not at all what I expected.
We arrived in the afternoon. Sunlight streamed in through skylights, highlighting an amazing structure of steel, glass, and white concrete.
Our eyes were drawn by graceful lines and patterns inside and out.
It was like beaming into our own episode of Star Trek.
After a wonderful visit with our dear friends, we had to catch a very early train out of Liege.
Sleepy-eyed, we left our warm beds to board the 5:30AM train to Paris.
One glimpse of the station lighting up the darkness was enough to stir our senses and wake us up.
Night or day, Guillemins is an inspiration.
A work of art.
True, it was not what we expected.
No stained glass.
No iron grillwork
No weathered stone that echoed with footsteps from the past.
Life is a blend of new and old. We treasure tradition, but new and unexpected can be a good thing too.
And the trains still run on time.
All images and words copyright Naomi Baltuck
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