As the year 2017 is just around the corner, we decided to see how was the year 2016. Well, it was wonderful! We started the TravelersChild and we put our traveling to whole new level. We spent most of this year traveling and exploring not only different places, but different foods, different cultures, met a lot of new great people and just had one of the best years of our life. It’s hard to sum up everything and put it all into perspective, but we decided to do exactly that. And what’s a better way than just to look back and think which places we enjoyed the most. Though it’s a difficult task, as we enjoyed every single moment, this also is a very pleasant objective. We hope that you will enjoy this trip down our memory lane as much as we did!
So allow us to introduce you, Dear Reader, to our No. 8, which is:
This small town in Wallonia, French-speaking part of Belgium, is considered to be the smallest city in the world. Well, at least this is the title that city gained in the Middle Ages. As one of our followers on Instagram informed us, there is strong and long-lasting reason for this:
Actually it’s called the smallest city in the world, not the smallest town. In the Middle Ages, the denominator “city” was only given to towns which had city walls, city jurisdiction, etc. That’s where it comes from.
Durbuy is located on the banks of peaceful Ourthe River, and is famous for its beautifully preserved medieval castle and surrounding street. There are only 14 of them, but, oh, how charming they are!1 Things that makes Durbuy unique are its old-stone houses and pavement! They make town look like straight from the Middle Ages.
What is more, Durbuy holds the biggest Topiary Park in the world. So with the touch of nature – beautiful Ourthe River valley and Topiary Park – the view of old-stone streets are totally fulfilled.
And finally, town is located in the department famous for extensive forests, rough terrain, rolling hills and ridges formed by the Ardennes mountains. So, there is really a lot of natural sights to explore just outside the city.
What L. has to say about Durbuy
Place on L’s list: 9
Though we have seen a lot of beautiful places in Belgium, Durbuy remains one of the most charming of them2 There aren’t any special or majestic sights to see, but those 14 streets are so perfectly preserved and authentic that every house seems like a landmark there.
The thing that I loved the most about Durbuy is its details. I still can’t get of my mind this one little piggy looking through the butcher’s shop’s window to its brothers and sisters laying on the shelves. I’m not a vegetarian, actually, quite opposite, I can’t live without tasty steaks, burgers, etc., but this piggy is sooo nice and the idea of it standing there breaks my heart into peaces until now.
Anyway, with those small, but eye-catching details and medieval old-stone houses, Durbuy looks like a city-storyteller. Seems that different street tells a different chapter from a nice fairy tale. And we all love stories, don’t we? So, yes, this is what makes Durbuy so special to enter my TOP 10 of 2016.
What P. has to say about Durbuy
Place on P’s list: 7
Just a perfect city for wandering. We went in, then we split and there was absolutely no chance of getting lost. I thought that if I would’ve gone lost – I would’ve just screamed L.’s name very loudly and we would definitely find each other.
But as beautiful as those few streets were, you kinda get a feeling that in a couple of hours you’ve already seen everything. Quite frankly, because you actually did.
Durbuy was the 7th on my list of best destinations I’ve seen all year. So despite having only 14 streets, these streets were one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. And there’s just something in the air of this city – an inexplicable atmosphere – you just get lost in it.
So, to sum up, Dear Reader, size actually really doesn’t matter3…
There are a lot of great cities in Belgium, but Durbuy surpass them all as a storyteller. It’s unique to find a city that you can admire not only with your eyes, but also with your imagination. And Durbuy is one of those unique cases. City’s streets are not only rich with beautiful and charming view, but also with small details that made us read it as a book.
P. S. If Durbuy interested you, Dear Reader, you can find more about this city here.
Rest of the TOP 10
1. Praia da Ursa (Portugal)
2. San Sebastian (Spain)
3. Saxon Switzerland (Germany)
4. Porto (Portugal)
5. Amsterdam (Netherlands)
6. Gent (Belgium)
7. Gerberoy (France)
8. Durbuy (Belgium)
9. Mont Saint-Michel (France)
10. Colmar (France)