A day with the kids in Condroz-Famenne
Member for 2 years 9 months
Let's share our love for the Ardennes
When we are guided by sorcerer's apprentices
5 mins invested with fantastic powers
Located in the Condroz namurois region, Condroz-Famenne cultivate the art of living in nature and of offering fun activities for families. "My sorcerers' adventures" are 13 walks with puzzles to solve and games along the way for kids aged 6 to 12, featuring a wicked witch and a friendly sorcerer.
It's a really enjoyable way to explore the countryside and forests around Ciney and Chevetogne, while having lots of fun.
During the summer school holidays I set off with my friend Véro and her kids.
It looks like it's going to be a great day for:
- Chatting with my friend
- Having fun with the kids
- Recharging our batteries in the fresh air
- Exploring the Ardennes, of course!
The wicked witch Condruza is back in the area intending to sow discord between the local villages. We all agree: we must be taught some magic spells so we can help Olibirus, the sorcerer and protect ourselves from curses.
Awakening our observational skills
After picking up our sorcerer's apprentice bag, we set off on our fantasy adventure with Emie (aged 11½), Candice (9½) and Cyrian (7).
Our first destination is Miécret, a village near Havelange. We arrive at the church there at 11am, ready to start our quest. We sit on the church steps to carefully read the details of our mission.
We read that there is a magic water fountain located in the village. To make the water flow, we must find a secret code. We set off at once through the main streets of the village. The atmosphere there is as calm as we could wish for, nothing is making us hurry…
Between reading the map, looking at the heritage buildings and decoding the hidden messages, each of us takes turns and is carried away by the story of the Fontana brothers, who look after the famous fountain.
Suddenly we find it! "It's there, I've seen it! Let's wait!"
The kids find the magic water fountain, and hurry up to it to quickly examine it from every angle… "Wait a minute!". We have to get out the phial we'd been given earlier to collect the precious water. When we get back home, it will allow us to turn the magic paper in our sorcerer's apprentice kit into a flower…
Having a picnic in a fairytale shelter
By now it's 12 noon and our tummies are rumbling. Buoyed up by our discovery with subtle powers, we head off towards the Le Bocq wood near Hamois. We spotted a shelter there that augers well as a great spot for our picnic stop.
The shelter is located on the Art Trails (a circular 141km route featuring 42 works of art displayed in the open air and 7 artistic shelters), and was created by the Spanish artist Mario Boccolini, inspired by the Nordic region. It has a living roof and we dream of the legendary creatures that could live there…
It's now nearly 2pm. Our break in the woods has led us all to want to spend more time in an enchanted forest. So we decide to visit the Tourist Information Centre in the village of Somme-Leuze, to pick up another useful bag for our next adventure.
The simple pleasure of playing in a forest
Now equipped with a compass, a magic wand and a ball, we head off to Nettinne, where an 800m trail game awaits us.
As you can well imagine, this is the precise spot where the good sorcerer Olibrius (remember him? the sorcerer who will help protect us from curses) came as a young man to learn how to use a magic wand. We will uncover the secret of how to use it if we can find the exact formula.
Time for some fun, as the kids in particular enjoy the suggested tests. We work our way through them, check the results and try to develop our agility.
The trees towering over us create an appreciable bewitching, calming atmosphere. However, we take care because Condruza is never far away. When the wind blows through the branches, we can sense that she's watching us from her broomstick… and so our expedition comes gently to its end.
With hushed voices (so Condroza can't overhear us), we tot up the numbers we found, we divide them and, abracadabra! we manage to open Condroza's lair, the Holy Grail of our adventure!
After an hour of intense activity in the depths of the forest, we return to the village of Maffe (famous for its delicious cheese) to enjoy a well-deserved ice cream.
We arrive at Le Pré en Boule around 4.30pm and sit down on the terrace.
Without waiting, the kids go off to visit the rabbits, chicks and goats. As for us, our mouths begin to water as we read the ice-cream menu. All these delights are home made using milk from her farm by Isabelle Désert.
I choose a Tatin Cup: vanilla, toasted almond and salted-caramel-butter ice cream, with slices of caramelised apple, crumble, meringue, caramelised apple juice sauce and whipped cream… It's crunchy, refreshing and delicious, pure pleasure! An excellent delicious address, open from April to September.
Aha! The wind is blowing gently…It's not Condruza any more "It's Olibrius!"
He invites us to appreciate the present… and to retain our curiosity!
To enjoy this experience:
Condroz-Famenne Tourist Information Centre
23, Place Monseu, 5590 Ciney, Belgium
Tel +32 (0)84 40 19 22
My Sorcerer Adventures
4 walks with an apprentice-sorcerer's kit (from 9 to 12€), 6 tours with an Adventure Booklet (3€) and 2 free digital walks (Dutch and French only).