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Stop suggestion between Dunkerque and Spangdahlem

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Cambridge, United...
posts: 92
reviews: 55
Stop suggestion between Dunkerque and Spangdahlem

Hello! My two young girls and I will be driving through Belgium and need to find out a delicious, safe and not too into town place to stop and get a bite to eat to too far from the main autoway. I speak a bit of French so can get by with basic stuff. My friend said it's mussels season. Is it still the case the 7th of Sept?

Also, where are the best places to buy gasoline?

Thanks!

Brussels, Belgium
posts: 19,417
reviews: 3
1. Re: Stop suggestion between Dunkerque and Spangdahlem

According to viamichelin.com halfway would be somewhere between Leuven and Liège, assuming that you are taking the E40 motorway.

There are of course service stations, for example a Texaco on the E40 just before Brussels (which you won't enter but will go around on the Ring), at Groot-Bijgaarden.

Yes September is mussels season although they are available all year round these days anyway.

Cambridge, United...
posts: 92
reviews: 55
2. Re: Stop suggestion between Dunkerque and Spangdahlem

Are Belgium waffles in every corner? Was told we have to get one :)

Thanks for the info!!

London
Destination Expert
for Bruges
posts: 611
reviews: 18
3. Re: Stop suggestion between Dunkerque and Spangdahlem

Hi

About 30km past Liege is the town of Spa.

Very pretty and a range of restaurants. With a couple of petrol stations in from the motorway into the town.

Surrey UK
posts: 627
reviews: 4
4. Re: Stop suggestion between Dunkerque and Spangdahlem

The motorway from the French border to Liege is more in Dutch-speaking Flanders than in French-speaking Wallonia. Happily, most Flemings speak English (and are likely to tell you in terms that they prefer speaking English to French). Where the road crosses the Flemish linguistic boundary, Bruxelles is signposted as Brussel and Liege is signposted as Luik. Do not be alarmed! In the latter case it changes back to Liege when you cross back into the French-speaking area. Did anyone mention Belgium does not have a government at present because the French- and Dutch-speakers are not speaking to each other? The first major point in Germany that you need to head for is signposted either as Aken (Dutch) or Aix-la-Chapelle (French) but because it's outside Belgium the name used by the people who actually live there (Aachen) appears in brackets and italic script after the local Belgian name, whether Dutch or French. I love Belgian linguistic politics. The key point is that, in Dutch-speaking Flanders, it's prudent to address the locals in English, not French, assuming you can't speak Dutch. And as at least one guidebook sagely observes "Do not attempt German" (presumably for historical reasons though, on that, I could not possibly comment). Leuven (Dutch-speaking, home of Stella Artois) would be fine for a stop or Huy (French-speaking and a bit further off the road). A bit beyond Liege, there's Malmedy as well as Spa, remarkable for being officially German-speaking, but in Belgium. A Waffle in Dutch is waffel and, in French, gauffre. The best (=cheapest?) place to buy gasoline is Luxembourg but, for you, that would be a bit of a detour. Otherwise, as elsewhere, the motorway has the most expensive outlets and off-motorway supermarkets the cheapest. Happily, you're not travelling on a Sunday, when motorway service stations are just about the only staffed outlets open, and other service stations have automats which can be iffy about accepting anything other than a Belgian-issued debit card (and Vive l'Europe Unie - as they say). Do have a good trip...

Cambridge, United...
posts: 92
reviews: 55
5. Re: Stop suggestion between Dunkerque and Spangdahlem

Wow, I just hurt my head reading your post :)

I do appreciate it and I knew I should have learned Dutch from my grandpa (very fluent, almost moved to Holland from Indonesia during the end of the Dutch occupancy).

I haven't kept up with European news. I didn't know the Dutch and French speakers are not speaking to each other. I didn't realize how complicated the language is there. When I read in guide book that there are three official languages there I assumed people speak all three fluently. Also when I was taking French it always mentioned Belgium as French speaking which of course I took it as 100% of the population speak French. Thanks for the info. I'll be reading about this a bit more. I always like to know a bit about the places that I go to.

Thanks for the off-road gas tip too. I'll have Daniel (my GPS) locate one for us.

6. Re: Stop suggestion between Dunkerque and Spangdahlem

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