On the Road: Day 5 – Tongeren, Belgium

This morning we went on a day trip to Maastricht in the Netherlands. As it was close to where we are staying in Hasselt it didn’t take long to drive there. Once we were satisfied and thought about leaving we still had a lot of time left of the day. So instead of going directly back to Hasselt, we took a short detour to the Belgian town of Tongeren. It is the oldest town in Belgium, so we thought it’d definitely be worth a visit. And that it was.

Basilica Tongeren, Tongeren, Belgium

An Unhappy Little A

Little A has been happy most of the trip, but not today. Once we arrived in Tongeren and had parked we needed to take care of our little one. Little A had started to be unhappy and was probably hungry. It was also still really hot outside with a temperature of around 30 degrees Celsius. It’s not a good combination when traveling with a baby. As we had turned the car off, the temperature in the car rose quite fast and Little A was not satisfied and she did not accept any food. She continued to scream instead of accepting any food.

The solution: turning on the AC for some time to get here more comfortable and then after a while, she calmed down and was more than happy to eat. That to our big relief. Now we just hope that she doesn’t catch a cold. We were a bit worried there, considering that none of us is used to this type of temperatures.

Tongeren, Belgium

 Exploring Tongeren

Exploring had to wait also after Little A was happy again. It was our turn to want something to eat and we grabbed a pizza for an early dinner. It was also a perfect way to stay away from the sun and the heat for some extra time so that Little A could get some rest.

Afterward, it was again time for walking. We enjoyed the walk along the picturesque Maastrichterstraat to the Graanmarkt (main square) where we got a proper view of the grand Basilica of Our Lady. The massive tower of the basilica is visible for kilometers around the town. From the main square, we continued along the streets in search of parts of the old town wall. Now we talk really old, it’s from Roman times. Tourist maps and signs helped us with our quest. We found some leftovers of the wall as well as a Carrefour market.

So we took the opportunity to refill our supply of beverages for the evening and of course get some extra water for the rest of the day. From the grocery store, we continued along the city park and the Béguinage. Eventually, we reached another part of the town wall and found out that it was actually really close to where we had parked our car.

Here are some facts about Tongeren:

  • It’s the oldest town in Belgium and the only Roman administrative capital within the country’s borders.
  • These days the town is the judicial capital of the province of Belgian Limburg.
  • The original Roman walls are visible for more than 1,500 meters.
  • Tongeren once had six medieval town gates, but only Moerenpoort from 1379 remains intact.

Tongeren, Belgium Standbeeld Ambiorix, Tongeren, Belgium Graanmarkt, Tongeren, Belgium Tongeren, Belgium

All in all, I’d say that visiting Tongeren was a good idea. It’s a great place to spend a few hours. The town is 25 minutes from Hasselt and 30 minutes from Maastricht (by car). We are now back in Hasselt again and are thinking about our plans for tomorrow. We still have one day left here before we will continue south to Reims in France.

Join us on the road through Europe here!

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