Belgium Figaro Rally 2016

Glorious sunshine, empty roads, friendly people and stunning venues! Read about the fun 53 Club Members and 28 Figs had during the week of Monday 12th – Friday 16th Sept 2016. The rally was a varied mix of sightseeing and activities (including Kayaking for the adventurous).

Following the ‘welcome dinner’ on Monday evening our first day kicked off with the traditional ‘group shot’ in sunshine as everyone put on the rally T-Shirts for some fashion poses. At 09.30 with roofs down, we lined up and left the hotel in convoy with me leading the way. A short drive through fields of sweet corn and a few stops for pictures we ended up at our first stop Domaine de Chevetogne Country Park. A truly stunning location of lakes, trees and wildlife. The venue opened up the coffee shop and we just sat and took in this amazing place.  You always wish you had more time to explore but our busy schedule meant we needed to leave around 11.30. We left again in convoy for our second leg which after 30 minutes ended up at Durbury the smallest town in the world. This is a truly magical place with shops, cafés and eating places set in narrow flowered and cobbled streets lined by old stone houses which forms the key attraction of this town. Sue and I hooked up with members Belinda and James for a tasty lunch which was over all too soon. The group then split up as some stayed to explore the Topiary Gardens and others made their way to their Figs to commence our 3rd Stop the amazing spectacle of Hotton Caves. A short wait and the group commenced our tour which meant descending down a 35 Metre deep chasm. One benefit was as we went down the stairs it became much cooler and this was a welcome change after being so hot! 45 Minutes later thankfully we didn’t need to climb the stairs again but were making our way to top in a lift. Some went straight back to the hotel, but Sue and I wanted to see the Castle of Lavaux-Sainte-Anne which although closed was still worth a peak!

Wednesday we awoke again to wall-to-wall sunshine and being a ‘free day’ some members went Kayaking down the river which was just a stones throw from our hotel. Others came with us to Chimay to have lunch and visit the Beer & Cheese Abbey which took us again through some stunning countryside.

Thursday was sunny again for our Vintage Dress Day, stylish outfits ranged from the 30’s all the way the 60’s. Our first stop Les Jardins d’annevoie included a walk around some magnificent, seventeenth century water gardens, part of Wallonia’s major heritage. We then made our way to Citadel of Namur where we managed to park together and explore. In truth the walk down was tough due to the heat so most stopped after a little way for lunch and to take in the vista. Our third stop was Château de Spontin followed by the Castle of Vêves. As we returned back to the hotel the first sign of rain started, perfect timing the rally was finished! The evening concluded with our traditional ‘farewell dinner’. Everyone agreed that this really was one of the best rallies the club had arranged. Prefect weather, friendly people, stunning venues and brilliant roads perfect for our little cars.

Thanks to everyone who attended and looking forward to seeing  you next year on our Yorkshire Rally 2017.