I've got the sun in my eyes



Twas suppose to be a kayaking day but due to unpredictable belgian weather, it was called off. But we only discovered that it was cancelled AFTER we met up at Rond Point Schuman.

(I successfully maneuvered myself there with my ever realiable Mio. 30 mins from home, missing a few turns here and there. Another new spot in Brussels learnt!)

And we decided instead to try to go kayaking ourselves. Someone heard about Kayak Blues in Dinant. So, off we went to Dinant – a very picturesque town!

(An hour from Brussels. And I was the driver. Bravo!)

Dinant is a Belgian municipality located on the River Meuse in the province of Namur. Its historical with origins dated back to about the 10th century. It survived battles during the late middle ages, detructions from the old regimes (French, Austrians) and then World War I with invasion of German troops.

Dinant is also the hometown of Mr. Sax. Yes, the inventor of saxaphone.

Upon arrival, we first sat ourselves in a quaint little patisserie. With each a hot cup of cafe in hand, we got acquainted with each other. The conversations kept on flowing. From the stories of how we each landed in Belgium, to interesting tales of living in belgium experiences, relationships, childhoods, family history, cultures etc etc…

Then we moved on to a restaurant for lunch. Yes, moving from one table to another. We continued to chat hobbies. books. religions. politics. tony blair. while we fed ourselves. I had Tagliatelle Cabonara (with a raw egg!) Yum!

Finally, we are ready to discover Dinant (like a real tourist!)

La Merveilleuse – is considered to be one of the most beautiful grottoes in Belgium. One can find many white, fine stalactites, stalagmites and magnificent ‘waterfalls’ – as captured in picture below. (6 euro to enter + guided tour)

Thereafter, we decided to brave the 420 steps which leads up to the Citadel, perched 100m above the city. The Citadel was first built in the 11th century to control the Meuse valley, destroyed by the French in 1703 and rebuild in 1821 by the Dutch. It played an important role in fighting the invading Germans troops in 1914.

The view from up there was breathtaking. As you can see, the town depicts a rather medieval setting.

The city’s landmark is the Collegiate (Church) of Notre-Dame, rebuilt in Gothic style on its old foundations after apparently falling rocks from an adjacent cliff partially destroyed the former Romanesque church in 1227.

Mmm, that explains why I felt the onion dome didnt really fit the more elaborated base.

And while we were there, we kidded around the children playground, swinging ourselves silly.

Apparently also, (after more reading up since I was back), the Leffe beer, one of Belgium’s most popular special beers has been brewed by monds since 1240 in Dinant. The abbey of Leffe is the building across the river, on the right edge. You’ve gotta try Leffe Blonde!

Oh yea, I did say we will TRY to go kayaking but naturally, no one pushed too hard for it. Also, we took the cable car instead of tumbling down the 420 steps :)

It was a lazy Sunday. And a lovely one.

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