Namur Journals

Again the Ardennes

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An October 2003 trip to Namur by Irene

The Peaceful Hills Photo, Namur, Belgium More Photos
Quote: Once was not enough. We returned to Belgium to ramble through the lush wooded hills of the Ardennes in search of wonderful cuisine, countless local brews, and legendary abbeys and chateaus.

Again the Ardennes

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Overview

The Peaceful Hills Photo, Namur, Belgium
Quote:
On a soggy, cool ramble through the Ardennes, we discovered the sprawling, magnificent Abbey Maredsous, which produces its own beer, bread and cheese. For sale, of course. Further east on the River Ourthe, Durbuy, the world’s smallest chartered town, also boasts its own brewery, while to the south, Lavaux St. Anne’s towers loom over a real moat. In the cold, rainy outskirts of Bastogne (Nuts City), we shivered through the daunting World War II Memorial and Museum and later munched our way through Ardennes ham at the Restaurant Le Belgian Mac Auliffee in view of the resident Sherman Tank. Although St. Hubert seems to be the only village in the Ardennes without a castle, the gothic Basilique St. ...Read More

Best Western New Hotel de Lives Namur

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Hotel | "New Hotel de Lives"

Best Western New Hotel de Lives Namur Photo, Namur, Belgium
Quote:
There is nothing not to like about the Hotel De Lives except for a frigid air that engulfs the staunch owner, Mr. Francis Van der Elst. Perched on a cliff overlooking the River Meuse 6km from Namur, the Hotel is an old hotel-manor house restored to its craggy glory with modern amenities. Within it are 18 rooms and suites. If you do not fancy a room in the hotel, an annex is connected to the house by an elaborate sun-breakfast room, which doubles as a meeting room for 50. Cold, tired, hungry, and jetlagged, we approached the tall wooden door and knocked. It was noon and we only wanted to freshen up after 13 hours on a jet. A jaunty lady thrust her head from a semi-closed door and briskly quippe...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 2, 2004

Best Western New Hotel de Lives Namur
CHAUSSEE DE LIEGE 1178
Namur, Belgium 5101
32 (0) 81 58 05 13

La Commanderie

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Restaurant

La Commanderie Photo, Namur, Belgium
Quote:
After a brief chat with Mr. Elst of New Hotel De Lives, we decided to explore his recommendation of a neighborhood restaurant south of Brussels on E41, exit 15 and east on highway N90. The gray muddy skies of October twilight hugged the hills above the quiet Restaurant Commanderie as we wearily searched for food, any kind of food. Warm light from a wall of windows spilled on to the empty winter terrace and invited us inside. Tucked in a corner .5km from The New Hotel de Lives, this family Italian bistro is inviting, accommodating and bursting with wonderful pasta, salads, pizzas, and antipasto (8-15 euros). Immediately inside the swinging glass doors a massive sunroom spanned the ent...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 23, 2004

La Commanderie
74A Rue de Gawdy
Namur, Belgium
(081) 583-221

Le Caprice

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Restaurant

Le Caprice Photo, Namur, Belgium
Quote:
Snuggled into the promenade along the River Muse in Dinat, surrounded by markets, banks, and a host of pricey restaurants, Le Caprice seemed a smart choice for a snack. Not lunch as almost all of Europe knows it, but a quick bite to tide us over for the sumptuous dinner we had planned for early in the evening. Caprice was definitely not fancy, but clean, convenient and quick. Locals seem to prefer lunch as the main meal of the day after a coffee-and-roll breakfast. We like a small lunch and a larger dinner, which might explain my ever-tightening jeans. Le Caprice Snack Taverne looked like a Belgium version of fast food. Tacked to the wall at the rear of Le Caprice, beside the orderi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 14, 2004

Le Caprice
Place Albert 3/5
Namur, Belgium
(082) 219-619

Hotel Restaurant Cobut

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Restaurant

Hotel Restaurant Cobut Photo, Namur, Belgium
Quote:
A short stop turned into a warm and comfortable interlude at this cozy country inn. Fresh from the loving arms of the Abbey de Maredsous we breezed into the busy crossroads of N971 in Falaen for a rest stop. As we skipped across the road from the car park we noticed fiery clusters of fall leaves hung around an open terrace dotted with bright red and white Maredsous umbrellas. A sprinkle of customers and locals lounged on the warm terrace in the long awaited sun. This was a perfect place to leisurely sample the local brew. We planted ourselves in the comfy wicker chairs and on second thought a nosh sounded good, as a pleasant waitress delivered a two-sided menu along with our beer. She linge...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 3, 2004

Hotel Restaurant Cobut
Rue de Sosoye 6
Namur, Belgium
(0) 8269-9251

Abbaye de Maredsous

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Attraction

Abbaye de Maredsous Photo, Namur, Belgium
Quote:
Where did it go? Where was it? Why was a masterpiece of Belgium neo-gothic architecture, Abbey de Maredsous, so hard for us to find? There were no signs, but all the maps and brochures said it was here, outside the village of Denee on N971 in southern Belgium. Earlier we had stumbled on a rough timbered building with a rectangular red and white sign sporting Maredsous. After wrongly assuming it was the entrance to the grounds, we trudged back to the tourist office. In broken English, we learned our building was a closed restaurant. "Go," the frustrated man at the tourist office demanded. "Go," he emphasized pointing. "More," he pleaded. Off we went. Dark green trees turning colors hugged t...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 16, 2004

Abbaye de Maredsous
Rue de Maredsous,11
Namur, Belgium

Le Chateau de Lavaux-Sainte-Anne

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Attraction

Le Chateau de Lavaux-Sainte-Anne Photo, Namur, Belgium
Quote:
The Village of Beauraing was beautiful, set in the scenic countryside of Southern Belgium, but it was not Lavaux-Sainte-Anne, where they keep the "most beautiful plain castle in Wallonia." Choosing the road less traveled; we had climbed out of the La Lesse Valley onto a plateau with a great view of cow spotted hills. Twisting and turning through bucolic hillsides along Highway 95, we found Beauraing. Becoming as it was, we were in search of Castle St. Anne. With a little help and after a few excursions into places non-gratis, we spotted the turrets. How lovely! We were only a kilometer from the main E41, clearly visible from the autobahn. Berating ourselves, we pulled into an a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 22, 2004

Le Chateau de Lavaux-Sainte-Anne
8 rue du Chateau
Namur, Belgium

Cathedral Maredsous

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Story/Tip

Cathedral Maredsous Photo, Namur, Belgium
Quote:
Perched on a wooded hilltop with only the lofty twin spires of the Cathedral to announce its discovery, Abbey de Maredsous reigns proud over the Monlignee Valley in southern Belgium. Founded November 15, 1872 by Hildebrand de Hemptinne, the Benedictine abbey is renown for it’s own production of beer, bread, cheese, and ceramics. However the classic neo-gothic beauty of the towering Cathedral and Cloister can at moments overshadow these accomplishments. After a leisurely tour of St. Joseph Visitor Center and spacious grounds, we returned to admire the mammoth structure, Benedictine Abbaye Maredsous. From the car park left the sober gray walls of the cloister lead to the twin grand towers guardi...Read More

About the Writer

Irene

Irene
Flora,Ms., Mississippi