Setting off from our apartment rental in the center Alkmaar, it was time to depart and start the trip south with our final destination Lake Orta Italy and the village of Orta San Giulio. Our first stop was to visit Bunker 599 south of Utrecht just off the A2 highway. This former war bunker has now become an art project.
Farther along south we stopped in the city of Maastricht; first for a beer at the former historic Brewery De Ridder that has now newly reopened as a microbrewery called Stadsbrouwerij Maltezer. After a couple of beers we took a quick walk around the market square then back in the Sud.
Driving through Northern the Ardennes region of Belgium is quite nice. Away from the trucks and traffic of the highways via small roads through dense forests with much lower temperatures. A quick stop at one of the many waterfalls in the region ended up being a park full of kids on summer vacation.
Just before the Northern border of France we stopped for the night in the Belgian town of Bouillon. An attractive village overlooked by a large castle set high above on a mountain ringed by a horse-shoe shaped river. Our hotel (the Golden Lion) was an extremely small inn with an tiny set of hand-made spiral stairs leading up to the rooms.