Dinant - picture perfect Walloon town

Dinant Travel Blog

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En route to Dinant, at Namur

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.

Kodak Moment - *click*
You'll be surprised at how tiny this bustling riverside town is, it looks peaceful and rather cheerful but it covers up quite a bit of gory history from the past. It was burnt to the ground back in the 15th Century and the tall Citadel was used back in the day to throw people into the river. A similar story repeated during World War 1 as well.

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!).

Kodak Moment *click*, encore!

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.

The bridge over the Meuse River
The church inside was the same old reallly, nothing to report here. But the stained glass window which depicts the Bible was actually very well done.

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

Africancrab says:
Incredible writing. Take your time, I will look forward to reading more.I'm enjoying myself and the memories return with your photos.
Posted on: May 18, 2009
YantiSoeparno says:
As I know you are busy until March 2010 ;-)
I am wondering when you have time to write this all detail story?
Posted on: May 08, 2009
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En route to Dinant, at Namur
En route to Dinant, at Namur
Kodak Moment - *click*
Kodak Moment - *click*
Kodak Moment *click*, encore!
Kodak Moment *click*, encore!
The bridge over the Meuse River
The bridge over the Meuse River
The Cathedral
The Cathedral
The Cathedral
The Cathedral
View of a school building from ato…
View of a school building from at…
Entrance to the fort atop the Cita…
Entrance to the fort atop the Cit…
Inside the Musee DArmes
Inside the Musee D'Armes
Going down the telepherique (cable…
Going down the telepherique (cabl…
Inside the cathedral
Inside the cathedral
Some statue in front of a hotel
Some statue in front of a hotel
My first frites in Belgium!
My first frites in Belgium!
Kodak moment *click* (and yawn!)
Kodak moment *click* (and yawn!)
The boats that take us sightseeing…
The boats that take us sightseein…
More flags
More flags
Dinant
photo by: Vikram