2015 European waterway cruise – Belgium – Namur to Dinant

Dinant – Belgium – on the River Meuse

We set out quite early on the Saturday morning for the trip to Dinant.

The scenery was definitely becoming more mountainous, and although it was only 26 kms, there were 6 locks to negotiate, with a total climb of 12 metres.

Approaching one of the locks

We made good time though, no delays at the locks, and arrived at Dinant just before 2.00 pm.

There were 2 options for mooring, on the town side of the river, or opposite in front of the tourist office.

On the River Meuse

Surprisingly there were quite a few boats there and the last vacant spot was on the town side.

We strolled across the bridge to the tourist office, to pay our port dues:

Enjoying our free Leffe beers on board

12 Euros per night including water, electricity, showers and wifi.

Dinant is the home of Leffe beer (which I have become rather partial to) and we were given three cans of free Leffe! What a bonus.

It was such a lovely afternoon we sat on our back deck, enjoyed the Leffes and watched life go by.

Dinant – home of Adolphe Sax

I plugged the boat into the electricity point – and nothing!

I tried all 8 connection points in the 2 stations closest to us and not one worked.

I was convinced there was a problem with the boat.
Nor was there any wifi signal on this side of the river.

Birth place of Charles de Gaulle

The other rather annoying thing, this medieval town was host to a biker rally this weekend, and for the whole day our ears were assaulted by the sound of the bikes riding and revving round the town, late into the night.

However, the next day we spotted a berth on the other side, moved Shangri La across to a spot in front of the tourist office.

I dont know what made me try the electricity again, but I did, and all was fine!

And we could stroll into the tourist office where the wifi and internet was very good.

Tastings at the Leffe monastery

Dinant turned out to be a delightful place and we stayed three nights.

It is the birth place of one Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone, and the town is liberally scattered with brightly coloured plastic saxophones and several bronze statues of the man himself.

It is also the birthplace of Charles de Gaulle.

Cable car to the Citadel

Dinant was a strategic spot during several wars, and the citadel at the top of the hill has a commanding view over the area.

We are not generally museum goers, but the visit to the citadel was worth the 8 euros each.

This included the ride up and down in the cable car.

Using the 408 steps

Or you could use the 408 steps to climb up or down. The museum had a lot of interesting exhibits about the war and how the citadel was used.

And yes the view was amazing.

Of course we visited the Leffe monastery and did the tour.

Very interesting with loads of video stations giving info about Leffe and the beer making process.

Several of these were not working!

Citadel museum

The 7 euro entrance included a tasting session and a gift of a beautiful Leffe beer glass!

The area has a number of caves, and we tried to visit one of them nearby, but the tour times were limited and we never got it right.

We made use of our time in other ways though

The washing machine at the ablution block was not working, but the was a laverie (laundromat) very close, so we caught up on those chores.

View from the Citadel

With the number of things ‘not working’, we were obviously getting closer to France and I remembered what a Brit we had met recently said – things are cheaper but nothing works!

View from Citadel

And yes we were definitely getting closer to France as we were better able to understand people here.

The dialect spoken in Belgium is generally quite different from the French as we (in our limited way) understood it.

Shangri La – seen from the Citadel

Despite a few problems, Dinant was lovely town and well worth visiting.

Next – the French border and Givet

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