Driving Around In The High Fens – Part 2

Names like “Baraque Michel” and “Signal de Botrange” are familiar to every Belgian. But what exactly are these places?

Let us start with the Baraque Michel. This name refers to the third highest point of Belgium (674 metres), located in the municipality of Jalhay, not far from Eupen. There is also an inn, which bears the same name and which was built at the beginning of the 19th century. The man who owned the inn, by the way, was called Michel Schmitz.

Nowadays, there is a huge parking lot around the inn, welcoming hikers mainly from Belgium and nearby Germany. There is also a bus stop. Follow one of the trails and feast your eyes on these views.

Drive along the same road and a couple of minutes later, you find yourself at the Signal de Botrange. With its 694 metres, this is officially the highest point of Belgium. And if you climb the 6 metres high Baltia tower, you find yourself at an altitude of 7oo metres.

For years, there used to be a meteorological station here, but in 1999 it was moved to the nearby Mount Rigi. The Signal de Botrange remains a popular place of interest, although the weather can be quite extreme here. In general, it is wetter and colder here, compared to most other places in Belgium, with temperatures sometimes going down to -20 degrees Celsius. And there are strong winds here as well.

By the way, here too, there is a bus stop.

Lars and I kept on driving on the same road, through the High Fens until we stumbled upon another artificial lake, the Lac de Robertville, named after the small nearby village. On the other side of the bridge, there are watersport facilities and a camping place.

And at the end of the day, we saw a small village called Champagne. And we gave in to our curiosity…

And guess what? There is still more to see in the surroundings of Eupen!

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