Robertville, a little South from the national park "Les Hautes Fagnes - De Hoge Venen" has few other attractive must see activites. The first is the wonderful castle "Reinhardstein" that is topping on a steep rocky hill, just NorthWest of the village. It is still inhabited by the youngest of a family that lived here for centuries, though the castle was destroyed more then once and only got restored in it's present beauty a couple of decades ago. The castle can be visited on irregular bases and one should first acknowledge oneself with information found on the website of the Reinhardstein.
The lake of Robertville is one of the (smaller) barrage-lakes in the Ardennes. Watersports are possible, but not extensively eploited along the shores of this lake. The barrage-damm can be seen near the village and behind it the lake stretches for a few kilometres filling the valley with water. It at least gives great views over the lake and it's foresty shores.
In the national park there is a visitorcentre just a few kilometres before the highest elevation in Belgium. Here they built a tower that offers visitors (when they are in time and ask nicely at the informationdesk ?!?!?) a splendid view over the "Hautes Fagnes - Hoge Venen". Behind the restaurant that is here as well is a strange structure. It's a small hill with on top of it a staircase and a memorialplate. A clever Baron (or should I say strange and excentric?) created this to elevate Belgium (in name of the king) to a complete higth of 700 metres! As the natural hill here reaches until 694 metres, he thought to be clever and bring it up this way (obviously to get into positive daylight with the king himself). What people don;t do to get noticed (-:
Haelen, 2, Robertville, 4950, Belgium
Good for: Business
Andrifosse 47, Robertville, 4950, Belgium
Good for: Business
Rue du Barrage 1a, Robertville, 4950, Belgium
Rue du Barrage, 23, Robertville, 4950, Belgium
Good for: Couples
Rue Centrale 32, Robertville, 4950, Belgium
Rue Du Lac 16, Robertville, 4950, Belgium
Good for: Couples
Rue Du Lac 24, Robertville, 4950, Belgium
Good for: Families
Rue Du Lac, 16, Robertville, 4950, be
Rue Du Thier 3, Robertville, 4950, Belgium
In summertime it is somewhat strange to drive along places where with large signs they advertice "ski-rentals". In wintertime however there is often more then enough snow here and the natural park is an ideal spot to make "langlauf" (ski-tracking) tours. Though I haven;t done it here, my imagination tells that it must be spectacular here (I have some experiences in similar settings in the German "Sauerland" - see Willingen-page).
Another legend is that around Barraque Michel, a large hotel-restaurant that is situated in the centre of the national park. The story here is as follows:
Somewhere in these rough surroundings a man, called Michel, was living as a hermit after his life was ruined by heartship and financial troubles. Disappointed in life he unified himself with nature in this desolate area until he found in one winter a guy, exhausted and cold in the snow. He took him in and gave him shelter in his simple "hut" (in French "barraque"). He fed him, gave him a bed until he was stronger. When this stranger felt strong enough to continue his journey, he told that he wasn't just an average man, but a very wealthy person. Michel got a fortune as gratitute for saving the life of this stranger and with it he turned his "barraque" into a comfortable inn. It's still there and ... if you want ... you can stay there.
As already told, this area as a quite own climat that is not that inviting in wintertime. Along the path that starts at Barraque Michel, one reaches a place where a sad, sad story. Legend or truth ... we don't know anymore, but here's in short the story.
The son in a poor family fell in love with the duaghter of more wealthier family and this was mutual. However the parents of both were fiercely against the relationship the two were building up and thus the two decided to run away from home. The made it into the wilderness of the "Hautes Fagnes - Hoge Venen", but the snow made the progress come to a hold and they lost their way in the white wide world. In spring the froosen bodies were found clung together in embrace. A tragic story that should be thought of when standing in front of the little memorial in the national park.
Favorite thing: Peat has a very high organic matter-level and is therefor extremely furtile. The black soils of the "Hautes Fagnes - Hoge Venen" are also used in the resorts like Spa, as a packing to improve the health of skin and innerbody. In the natural park one can see this soil on some spots along the boardwalk-paths that are going through the swamps. Now, don't hop in here as it will disturb nature ... just go to Spa and book a treatement, that also includes the fresh mineralwaters and some other forms of relaxation (see my Spa-page).