Arrival in Charleroi, the hotel is on the ring road, immediately the bustle of the city. After I have brought my things to the hotel I cycle around a little awkwardly. In the center it is busy, there are many people in the streets sitting in front of their shops, it is warm. I take pictures of a concrete factory from a parking lot, see the Marcinelle blast furnaces protrude above the buildings and cycle to it. Recognition, I was here 26 years ago too. A lot has changed, also many things the same. The traffic has clearly increased, I notice that flats have been built almost against the ring road viaduct. The blast furnace complex looks like an abandoned war zone; buildings are partially demolished, some pieces are reminiscent of discarded film sets. There are a few slag heaps right next to the road, I hadn’t noticed that in 1993.