It's been a while since I have been able to surprise my dear mother... I'll be embarking with her for an adventure on the water. The sea would also have been nice... but not this time. Instead it's Namur for two days together.

With our weekend bags under our arms, our mother-daughter adventure starts with a catch-up chat on board the train. As the panoramic view unfolds before our eyes, so we start to relax. Some stories later, here we are - we've arrived at Namur station.

Without waiting around, we head straight for "Grognon", a promontory at the confluence of the river Sambre and the river Meuse, overlooked by the citadel. It's only 1 km from the station.

Floating accommodation

Should we abandon the mainland for the shores of the river Meuse? The image of the marina with so many boats is far removed from the 'green' image that comes to mind when you think of the the capital of Wallonia.

Our hotel boat is moored on Hunters Quay in the Ardennes (yes, I'm definitely getting the feeling of being in the Ardennes). Our captain, Marc-Yves Lesage, personally greets us with a welcome-on-board drink.

We then go off in search of our cabin with a view over the river Meuse. Very cosy! Our room can accommodate up to 3 people.

 

La valse Lente
Address: quai des Chasseurs Ardennais – 5000 Namur

 

We take our time to settle in and then set off in the direction of the town centre. We stroll for a while and just a crossroads and a bridge further on we are already in the centre of town. Very handy!

 

The small bridge overlooks houses with balconies on the shore of the river Samber. We are immediately spellbound by the charm and allure of the little streets in old Namur. The centre is bustling with cafés and restaurants, competing for our attention.

 

Tapas land/sea

Just a few feet away from the Vegetable Market with its terraces in one of the pretty pedestrian streets in the centre, we find a tapas bar to satisfy our hunger. We fall in love with the vintage atmosphere of La Cantina.

Here we savour a colourful dish. The planchas and tapas are perfectly seasoned and the portions are ideal for sharing, for two or with friends. We opt for the ravioli with lobster and king prawns. This dish is perfectly in keeping, and not at all over the top.

 

La Cantina
Address: rue de la Halle 2 – 5000 Namur

Life is a long quiet river

The evening is drawing in and we return to "La Valse Lente", our special guest house for the night. We would have liked to try out the Jacuzzi on the terrace, but the chilly weather was not playing ball. What a shame.

 

We admire the Meuse from our porthole, it is quiet and we feel as though we are quite some way from Namur...

 

Three life jackets adorn our room. You can hardly deny that we are on board a boat. But certainly without feeling sea sick. Nothing is moving and so we can sleep in peace.

Upon waking, we can see on one side a boat gently passing us by, and on the other a few joggers and cyclists. We can enjoy a revitalising shower in our cabin's bathroom. 

And so we are ready to go in search of our host, who is busy preparing breakfast. There's something for everyone: hot and cold drinks, bread, croissants, brioches, fruit, dairy products, … In short, a five-star breakfast in a very convivial atmosphere. One absolute must that has to be tasted are the home-made jams. Quite outstanding!

Why not opt to take off on a mini-cruise to enjoy the beauty of the Meuse Valley? For a few hours, a day or even longer? That is what the captain proposes, but for us it's time to continue on our journey.

 

Although bicycles are available on board the boat, we put on our walking shoes and set off for the climb up to the citadel.

Heritage in a rocky outcrop

The pleasant weather makes for an enjoyable walk. We start our climb. But it is definitely worth the effort: the citadel offers a wonderful view out over Namur.

 

You can explore the citadel through the open-air pedestrian circuits or embark upon an underground foray through the network of galleries. It's entirely up to you. We opt to stroll outdoors.

La Citadelle
Address: route Merveilleuse – 5000 Namur

Be careful! You are on the water…

After exploring the dizzy heights, we come back down to earth or rather the floating terrace of the 'Capitainerie'. We really have earned a drink and a sit down on a deckchair. Cheers!

It's a moment in time that it would be nice to extend, especially as the sun is shining down on us. The place is also an activity centre providing an introduction to the thrills of the water: paddle boards, small craft, …

Charlie’s Capitainerie
Address: boulevard de la Meuse 38, 5100 Jambes

 

Under the Italian flag

For lunch, we find a Mediterranean restaurant. The place is full of locals. We are really taken with the fine selection of dishes all with a hint of an Italian accent.

From the mouth-watering menu, we decide to taste the delights of the olive oil-based cuisine provided by the establishment. The dishes served to us were quite faultless and extremely generous so no room for a dessert!

L’Huile sur le feu
Address: rue de Marchovelette 19, 5000 Namur

 

A concentration of beautiful things

The delightful pedestrian area in Namur reels us in for a shopping expedition. All the big high-street shops are concentrated around rue de Fer and rue de l'Ange.

When we explore the side streets off the beaten track, we make some lovely discoveries… we are on a roll.

A range of boutiques in sight

A concept store with a thousand and one original ideas: furnishings, room fragrances, jewellery, table art, gadgets including a series of magnets are all on offer… pure eye candy.

The shop also accommodates some larger and more eye-catching objects: the new Mini!

Lèche vitrine
Address: rue Saint-Loup 2b, 5000 Namur

A specialist tea and herbal tea shop catering for every palate: classics with THEODOR teas or slightly more exotic teas with tastes of China.

Le Fossé Fleuri
Address: rue des Fossés Fleuris 45, 5000 Namur

You can always rely on Alessia, the fashionista blogger for more shopping destinations in Namur.

It's always tea time !

After this tour of the old part of town, we decide to take a break and treat ourselves. What a surprise: a cup cake, which is as tasty as it is a work of art. Quite something!

Chez les Cup’inn
Address: rue des Fossés Fleuris 38, Namur

What a pleasure being able to share this beautiful interlude with my dear mother. We hardly noticed the time passing. Such is the charm of new experiences!

We find the path back to the station and make the most of the journey to get our feet back on the ground.

Fancy a day out or a weekend in Namur? Half-price travel with the Weekend Ticket*.

*Discount only applied to the non-fixed part of the Standard fare. In 2nd class, the fixed amount is € 1.1574 per single journey. In 1st class, it is € 1.5046 (less than 37km) or € 1.6204 (37km - 51km) or € 1.7824 (52km and more) per single journey. The minimum price per single journey is € 2.50 in 2nd and € 3.20 in 1st class.