Visit the photo set 2016: Durbuy and the Ardennes on Flickr.

Our friends Peter and Blaine have been asking us for more than five years to join them in visiting the Ardennes. Their favourite place there is the city of Durbuy. Looking at our combined schedules, we agreed that, if it was going to happen, we had to do it soon.  And so we set up a quick trip in mid July, starting on Sunday and finishing on Tuesday.

Robin and I rented a car in central Amsterdam, and picked Peter and Blaine up at their place in southwest Amsterdam. We then headed south, stopping in Maastricht for lunch at Harry’s. We headed on to Durbuy, and our hotel, Hotel Le Clos des Récollets. After checking in, we wandered through the village for a while before meeting up with Blaine and Peter’s friends, Stuart and Laura, who joined us from Germany.

The big plan for Sunday evening was to enjoy a five-course dinner at the hotel.  The weather was so nice that we ate in the courtyard in front of the hotel.  The food was terrific and the matching wines particularly good.

After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, the six of us packed up our two vehicles and headed southeast to the village of Achouffe, home of the Achouffe Brewery, makers of one of my favorite beers, La Chouffe. We walked around their grounds, admiring the care that they have put into creating a little gnome world in the middle of the Ardennes.

Heading a bit further southeast, we visited the town of Houffalize, where we had lunch at the Café Rallye, owned by friends of Peter and Blaine. After lunch, Stuart and Laura started back home, while the rest of us returned to Durbuy. Seeing it was Monday, I had to make a few phone calls for work, so Peter had a nap and Blaine and Robin took Jessie, Blaine and Peter’s dog, for a walk. Coming together as a group again after 7 pm, we had a couple of drinks and a nice dinner at the Vieux Pont.

The next morning, after another leisurely breakfast, we packed up and started heading for home.  We stopped in Den Bosch for lunch at Zoetlief; Peter sent a number of years working in Den Bosch. A short drive later, we were back in Amsterdam.

It really was great that we got the opportunity to join Peter and Blaine in visiting one of their favourite places. Thanks guys!