Dinant - picture perfect Walloon town
Dinant Travel Blog› entry 2 of 17 › view all entries
And now onto Dinant....
I bought a return ticket from the train counter at Bruxelles, I felt so good asking for un aller-retour after having just read it and seen it on movies for days! The train ride was nice, not spectacular. The last time I took the train was through the Lake District in the UK, so you can understand if the Bruxelles-Dinant ride wasn't much in comparison. But the weather was very nice - about 17C and clear blue skies. I had to change at Namur. The setup was very much similar to the UK - the same small cars and carparks, buildings, etc.
Upon reaching Dinant, you see *the* picture postcard snapshot that kept inviting me and enticing me from the time I laid my eyes on it in March. A quick walk away to the River Meuse and there I was - the Citadel and the Church in full glory, right in front of me.
But as of 2009, it's a merry little town perfect for the relaxed day trip as I discovered. I was thinking I'd be too jetlagged to take it all in, but this town invites you. And takes you in. What I really liked the most was the flags of various EU countries on the bridge over the Meuse. It really makes for colourful viewing, especially in front of the dark grey Cathedral. I started off at... well the Citadelle (remember my comment in the previous entry, I shall be using only French terms from now on!).
The Citadelle was built in the 16th Century, and can be reached by the telepherique (cable car). Once atop, you get very nice views of the place, although I must warn you that there's really not a whole lot to see other than the lovely cluster of buildings by the riverside. But once atop, it's quite a pleasure visiting the Musee D'Armes, it's got a cannon, firearms and replicas and statues of army officers. I skipped the presentation, but it was certainly a surprise. I spent about an hour atop as there wasn't really much of a view, and descended to the big black grey building in front of the Citadelle...
The Collegiale Notre-Dame is the landmark of the town. It looks old and strong, like a big toy, but has endured 2 lives apparently in the 20th century after suffering heavily in both World Wars.
I went for a walk around town, then went in to sample my first Belgian frites (hurrah!), and then went to a supposed "mine" which takes you down the ground to see some caves. But the plug looked rather boring, so I decided to skip it. I finally did what every tourist does - take a cruise on the Meuse. Honestly, I found it boring. Barring the church and citadel, the rest of the town is just any other riverside town, nothing to write home about really.
It was about 3pm or so when I was done with the town - made my way slowly back taking more pictures, I'm in love with the bridge and the flags. All too nice! Got back to the railway station and caught the train back to Bruxelles. I was fairly sleepy, and I noticed that overall, Belgian trains are fairly packed! I controlled my sleep however as the evening was still young, and I had to visit Bruxelles yet!
Go back to my entry "Evening in Bruxelles" on the previous page
After the tour