Beautiful city to walk along the river in Autumn
Bouillon, a small city along the river Semois some where in the Province of Luxembourg.
It's castle, it little shops, the relaxed atmosphere, local pubs and tea rooms and the splendid colours in Autumn ....
An excellent afternoon trip for the family.
Church of Sainte Eloi
It's not that it is the nicest church we ever saw. But we were lured by the carillon, as always. So we went to have a look on coming down from the fortress anyway.
We saw a parish church, not necessarily very impressive but nice nonetheless.
visiting Bouillion - especially its castle!
"the castle is on my 'one of the best' list!"
my lonely planet has no info on Bouillion so i will retrace my steps to find the info and maps i used to get and stay there and add more at a later date.
but i, like on many of my trips, did my own driving tour around southern Belgium incorporating the world war 2 history there and over the border into France to visit Sedan and over the other border nearby into Luxembourg.
Bouillion was a picturesque small town but it was its excellent looking castle perched up on a sharp hill that attracted the castle-mad me!! It was open till late so i was lucky that on arriving late afternoon i was able to get in and make my way all around the exciting and intricate tunnels and rooms etc. The Lord of the castle was the first knight or leader of the crusades to jerusalem and arabia.
a couple of points that impressed me also was that the castle was made independent by digging many metres down through solid rock to get to the water table for their own water and also seeing out one precarious side of the castle that the whole cutting next to us had been cut and dug out as part of their defence.
i had no accommodation info so i had to rely on info on the tourist office's window - it was closed for the day as i was after hours - but got some phone numbers and had to utilise my little french to communicate over the phone. Yet again the excitement and advdenture of travelling independently and i managed to get a lovely room in a very nice home on the outskirts of town owned by lovely french couple who spoke no english - they had got a next door neighbour with limited english to translate on the phone for me!!
so use resources that one has and enjoy the adventure!
Bouillon - quite a surprise.
"Location and access"
Those with cars simply follow a map. Surprisingly it is not so much harder by public transport, even though its some way from a railway. Libramont is on the main line from Brussels to Luxembourg and there are buses from outside the station to Bouillon.
This is in the Belgian Province of Luxembourg [different from the independent Grand Duchy.] The nearest country is France.
"The river Semois"
Having not only read that Bouillon was a kayak resort but actually failed to get into any of its numerous hotels on friday and Saturday because of a special kayaking weekend, I expected to find rapid water and falls.
I found instead a superb spot for beginners' kayaking with a wide slow and fairly shallow river winding in great loops down its valley.
In one loop is Le Chateau Fort.
The sides of the valley are high, forrested and steep.
"Pedestrian access to Le Chateau Fort"
As you stand at river level in Bouillon you see this wondrous castle, the stuff of dreams for children of all ages, and it is way above you!
For the fully fit there is a staircase which I, with a dicky heart, found ideal for a route DOWN. However there is a pretty steep road = thogh nowhere near as steep as the stairs, which rises to the town hall and the local museum. From here there is a sign pointing the less able up by a fairly gentle path [all things are relative. As you approach the castle you pass through gatehouses and over bridges which recently enough had looked inaccessibly high.