Exploring Belgium South of Brussels
If you are trying to find something to do over an extended weekend, what about a short self-drive holiday? I would highly recommend taking the Eurotunnel over to France and then driving down to southern Belgium as it has so much to offer. I was attending an event at the Bastogne War Museum in the beautiful Ardennes area and had two days to explore that area. As the event was held at the museum, I of course started by exploring the great WW2 museum and the American Liberators Memorial which offers great views of the surrounding area.
The town of Bastogne itself is within a walking distance from the memorial, and with me visiting in December 2016, the towns Christmas markets were in full swing all around the large Eglise Saint-Pierre Catholic Church at the end of the “high street”. Walking along this road over to the town square offers not only a good selection of shops but also many café’s, restaurants, and pubs. One of the more unique restaurants is the Restaurant Leo which looks like train carriage!
On my second day in the area, I started the day bright and early and headed over to the Euro Space Centre which is just off the exit 24 for Libin on the E411 motorway. Already upon the approach to the space centre I could see that this would be an amazing place. The venue looks massive due to the exoskeleton full of solar panels but is something that one can either spend just a couple of hours in or make it into a whole day family event. I took the basic multimedia tour which was very good and informative but one can do so much more here from Moon and Mars weightlessness walks while wearing VR headsets, visiting the planetarium, watching space shows, to seeing some of the training that astronauts do. What an amazing place!
Lastly and before the day was over I also stopped at Memorial 1815 and Lion’s Mound which are the Waterloo museum and memorial just south of Brussels. These places needs about 2-4 hours depending on how much information you want to take in but this modern subterranean museum, over ground Panorama building, and trip up the very steep mound are incredible and if you are in the area are the must visit places.