View of Dinant from the Meuse River
My parents have already seen a lot of the Netherlands and the Flemish part of Belgium, so this trip we ventured toward the south into Wallonia. Dinant, Belgium is located at the beginning of the Ardennes on the Meuse River. I searched for city trips within Wallonia and after seeing a photo of the beautiful cathedral, citadel, and river, I wanted to find out more information. Dinant is most famously known as being the home of Adolphe Sax, who invented the saxophone and would be 200 years old this year, and regional cuisine such as the couques de Dinant, Europe’s hardest cookie, and the flamiche, a type of quiche served with a glass of Burgundy, as well as Leffe beer. So we decided to check it out!
For a quick geography lesson, Belgium is divided into three regions with three official languages (Dutch, French, and German). The northern region is Flanders (where I live), the south is Wallonia, and in the middle is the Brussels Capital Region. In Flanders, Flemish (Belgian Dutch) is spoken, in Wallonia mostly French (but in the east there is a German language community,) and the Brussels Capital Region is officially bilingual, but mostly French is spoken. Our trip to Wallonia gave me a chance to practice my French!
First view when we got off of the train – we weren’t sure what to expect!
First view of the bridge, dedicated to Adolphe Sax for his 200th birthday this year
Of course we all wanted photos in front of the view!
Mom and Dad
Mom and me with one of the saxes
View from the bridge of the Meuse River
Photo of my parents taking photos
One more photo of the Meuse River
So hungry – time to try the flamiche!
Our happy baker with the flamiche
Closeup of the flamiche
Ready to eat!
But first my plate with a glass of Burgundy
Walking to the another bakery
Pâtisserie Jacobs, since 1860
Mom with all of the pastries
All of the couques de Dinant in the window
Buying couques de Dinant! I brought a few back for people to taste but no one likes them haha. They live up to their reputation as the hardest cookies in Europe!
We also enjoyed a sweet treat!
My little frangipane
Heading up to the top to see the Citadel – can’t take the steps with my broken elbow!
View to the left
View directly ahead
View to the right, with the Belgian flag waving
Mom and me in front of the cannons
Of course once we were at the top it started pouring!
It’s hard to explain what’s going on here. This room was hit and the whole room was knocked leaving no reference point as to where the top is. After one step into the room you feel drunk. It took us forever to make our way through it!
Mom in the crazy room
Inside the Cathedral
Beautiful stained glass window
Time for refreshments at Café Leffe before going to the Leffe Abbey
My dad and I chose 2 of the Leffes we had never tried – the Rituel 9 and the Tripel
Dad with his beer and our Asian snacks and fries
Mom with her hot chocolate
Passed the Saxophone fountain on the way to the Abbey
And we also passed Adolphe Sax’s house!
We arrived at the Abbey!
Dad at the entrance – unfortunately it was closed to visitors!
Momument to the monks that died when the Germans invaded Dinant in 1914
Café next to the Abbey where you can sample the beer
Leaving Dinant, taking our last photos!
Last view of Dinant