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To Dinant and Rochefort

Home -> Europe -> Belgium -> Travelogue Belgium -> 17 December 2005

Saturday 17 December, to Dinant and Rochefort

Our cottage in the snowWhen we wake up (very late) we see the world outside has turned white. A layer of snow is covering the woods and the snow is still falling when we finally leave our cottage after afternoon to visit Dinant. We have read on the internet there should be a nice christmas market there.
DinantDinant is one of the bigger towns in this region and the place where in the past one of the four bridges in Belgium used to be that crossed the river Meusse. Therefore it was of strategic importance and it has been under siege several times. It has also been destroyed more than once and has quite a long history.
Dinant DinantThe christmas market is about 100 square meters and with only about 10 booths, so not really what we had expected. A walk through the town is more rewarding. On the rocks we see a little house and when we magnify with our camera we see that it is empty. Would it be for hire or sale?
To the citadel, Dinant View on DinantLots of people are doing their shopping, but we go with the cable railway up the steep hill to visit the citadel where a grumpy guide leads us through the cold and windy castle. Best part of the tour is a reconstruction of a trench which has been tilted by 30 degrees. Quite strange to walk through it.
View on Dinant View on DinantAnd from the top of the hill we have a magnificient view on the river and the city but it is not pleasant to stay here too long in the cold wind.
Castle of RochefortWe go back via Rochefort, another attractive town where a castle stands. And when we drive out of the town we see another one, hidden in the woods on a hill. The density of castles here is higher than in most places in western Europe.
Snowy scenery Snowy sceneryOn our way back it starts to snow again and the sky colours a purple when the sun lights the clouds. The roads are still clean so we take some smaller roads back to the park. The landscape lies quiet under a layer of white and there is more snow to come, as we have seen on television.
Snowy villageThe villages, which are already charming without the snow, become even more charming, and one can imagine how it must have been here a hundred years ago. Time seems to have frozen in most of the places and that is one of the reasons why the Ardennes are so attractive.
When we return to our cottage it is snowing heavily but we don't care: we are warm and safe within our cottage and we will see what tomorrow brings. We hope we can go somewhere by car but if not we have all the time for ourselves in our cozy cottage.


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