Dinant, Belgium May 2014

View of Dinant from the other side of the Meuse River

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 when we got off of the train – we weren’t sure what to expect!

 

First view of the bridge, dedicated to Alphonse Sax for his 200th birthday this year

First view of the bridge, dedicated to Adolphe Sax for his 200th birthday this year

 

Breathtaking view

Breathtaking view

 

Of course we all wanted photos in front of the view!

Of course we all wanted photos in front of the view!

 

Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad

 

Mom and me with one of the saxes

Mom and me with one of the saxes

 

View from the bridge

View from the bridge of the Meuse River

 

Photo of my parents taking photos

Photo of my parents taking photos

 

One more photo of the Meuse River

One more photo of the Meuse River

 

So hungry - time to try the flamiche!

So hungry – time to try the flamiche!

 

Our happy baker with the flamiche

Our happy baker with the flamiche

 

Closeup of the flamiche

Closeup of the flamiche

 

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

 

But first my plate with a glass of Burgundy

But first my plate with a glass of Burgundy

 

Walking to the another bakery

Walking to the another bakery

 

Pâtisserie Jacobs

Pâtisserie Jacobs, since 1860

 

Mom with all of the pastries

Mom with all of the pastries

 

All of the couques de Dinant

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!

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!

We also enjoyed a sweet treat!

 

My little frangipane

My little frangipane

 

Heading up to the top of the Citadel - can't take the steps with my broken elbow!

Heading up to the top to see the Citadel – can’t take the steps with my broken elbow!

 

View to the left

View to the left

 

View directly ahead

View directly ahead

 

View to the right, with the Belgian flag waving

View to the right, with the Belgian flag waving

 

Mom and me in front of the cannons

Mom and me in front of the cannons

 

Of course once we were at the top it started pouring!

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 knocked the whole form leaving no reference point as to where the top is.

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

Mom in the crazy room

 

Inside the Cathedral

Inside the Cathedral

 

Beautiful stained glass window

Beautiful stained glass window

 

Time for refreshments at Café Leffe!

Time for refreshments at Café Leffe before going to the Leffe Abbey

 

My dad and I chose the 2 of the Leffes we had never tried - the Rituel 9 and the Tripel

My dad and I chose 2 of the Leffes we had never tried – the Rituel 9 and the Tripel

 

My beer

My beer

 

Dad with his beer and our Asian snacks and fries

Dad with his beer and our Asian snacks and fries

 

Mom with her hot chocolate

Mom with her hot chocolate

 

Passed the Saxophone fountain on the way to the Abbey

Passed the Saxophone fountain on the way to the Abbey

 

And we also passed Adolphe Sax's house!

And we also passed Adolphe Sax’s house!

 

We arrived at the Abbey!

We arrived at the Abbey!

 

Dad at the entrance - unfortunately it was closed to visitors!

Dad at the entrance – unfortunately it was closed to visitors!

 

Momument to the monks that died when the Germans invaded Dinant in 1914

Momument to the monks that died when the Germans invaded Dinant in 1914

 

Another Leffe Café

Café next to the Abbey where you can sample the beer

 

Leaving Dinant, taking our last photos!

Leaving Dinant, taking our last photos!

 

Last views of Dinant

Last view of Dinant

 

More family trips:

2 thoughts on “Dinant, Belgium May 2014

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