Wallonia (La Wallonie), Belgium's mostly French-speaking southern half, includes many a pretty rustic village in rolling green countryside, interspersed by a handful of postindustrial cities. The heavily wooded Ardennes is a major area for outdoors activities, a plateau land cut by rivers for kayaking, honeycombed with fabulous cave systems and offering just the tiniest hope of skiing in midwinter. Centuries of history are evident in the attractive cities of Mons and Tournai, in the unforgettable carnivals of Binche, Stavelot and Malmédy, and in a plentiful scattering of medieval castle ruins and grand châteaux. Sniffing out Liège's deep historical pedigree takes a little more delving beneath its rather disfigured surface. And then there's Waterloo, where Napoleon met his ABBA song. In many ways Wallonia feels like a different country from Flanders. Finding English speakers can't be so easily taken for granted and to reach the more rural highlights you’ll appreciate having your own wheels.


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Field of destiny: Waterloo battlefield, Belgium

May 20, 2015 • 5 min read


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