Where I Went:
Leg one of the holiday journey was Dinant, about an hour or so drive from Brussels’ airport. Dinant is known for being the home of saxophones (the inventor was born there) and its onion-shaped cathedral dome. For a fee, you can hike up to the old fortress and look out over the city.
|home of our first parking ticket!|
What I Did:
The Collegiate Church of Our Lady is open to the public and, like most European churches, is under minor (to major) construction. The church itself has been mostly rebuilt following World War I and II. Pockmarks from bombs are still visible on the original pillars. Along the main bridge, tributes to Adolphe Sax can be seen in the form of uniquely painted saxophone sculptures representing different nations. There is a museum but a four hour drive awaited us so we skipped this and the old fortress. We had lunch in a small bakery overlooking the river and, despite what every blog boasted, we did not eat Flamiche as we were told Flamiche is only made at home. We did, however, buy the famous Couques cookies which were as rock hard and inedible as we could have expected (to be fair, they’re really not supposed to be all that edible). We had intended to eat at Couques Jacobs but they sort of shooed us off and we didn’t really protest.
|Collegiate Church of Our Lady and a Sax|
|Home of the Coques de Sax|
|Quiche! (not Flamiche which is thicker + more cheese) and a pickled salad with buttermilk dressing|
What I thought:
Pretty enough for a quick pass through but certainly wouldn’t need an overnight stay. Very few fluent English speakers and seemingly more bakeries than residents. We spent about two and a half hours in Dinant and could have pushed it to four had we done a small museum or hiked up to barracks. But with so much more to see in comparison, our time spent seemed more than adequate. For a quaint stop-over- perfect.