Sunday, June 29, 2014


Actually, that particular Sunday was three weeks ago but only now did I find the time to post the following pics.

First of all, people assume too soon that the Ardennes begin right to the south of the Meuse river. That is not so. Broadly speaking, south of that river, Wallonia's foremost stream, there are six geographical regions of which the actual Ardennes are only one. There's first the Condroz (the name stems from the Condrusi, a tribe living here around the time Julius Caesar invaded Gaul), with heights up to 340m. Then follows a depression, the Fagne-Famenne, in which the Fagne part is lying west of the Meuse and the Famenne part east of it.

Only thereafter come the Ardennes, of which the highest point is (only) 694m (the Ardennes are a very old massif). In Belgium's extreme south, there's a sliver of hilly land characterized by cuesta hills (hills with a long, slowly ascending slope on one side and a relatively steep drop on the other side). This area is called Belgian Lorraine.

Check out the map below:

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My trip first took me to Moircy, a tiny village in the Ardennes proper, not far from Libramont. Incurable WWII buff that I am, I could not resist photographing this memorial plaque attached to the wall of Moircy Church:

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It commemmorates the troops of the 87th US Infantry Division, who, as part of Patton's Third Army, pushed north against the German 7th Army in order to pinch off the salient created by the Ardennes Offensive (which, in my younger days, was often erroneously called the Von Rundstedt Offensive).

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Moircy Church, which actually lies closer to the next village, Jenneville, than to the center of Moircy itself.

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And then it was off to the surrounding countryside, a gently undulating landscape.

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Even the best photos cannot reveal what it's really like, and mine are certainly not the best. But it was a glorious summer's day, the sky's blue was much more overwhelming than the pic suggests, and the aroma in the air of the grass, herbs, trees, flowers et al, brought to me by a slight breeze and warm air wafting upwards from the bottom of the valley, was at times overwhelming.

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Approaching a dark wood.

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Getting back to Moircy. To the north, beyond the village, the forest surrounding Saint Hubert begins.

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As I drove home, I stopped on the grounds of Dinant Aventure - by now desolated. The highway down there crosses the Meuse just south of Dinant and continues towards Philippeville. FYI - this is the border region between the Condroz and the Fagne-Famenne.

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On the other side of the Meuse, and heading north, I entered the land known as the Condroz. I stopped in Sosoye, a village rightly earning the label 'One of Wallonia's most beautiful villages', as it is nestled cosily in the 'Vallée de la Molignée'.

Pic and video were shot from a rocky outcrop dominating the village.

Hey, nite.


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