Treignes Train Museum – the big shed on the right is the main museum featuring 3 x 100m lengths of track stuffed with locos, railcars, coaches and stuff!

It was a lovely sunny day as we left Strepy Thieu with a clear blue sky. Today we are mainly on minor roads through small towns and villages as we drive less than 60 miles south east to the Ardennes where we plan to spend several days exploring as we make our way east toward Luxembourg. Our destination today is the railway museum at Treignes (perfect location for a train museum!) which combines a free aire (official motorhome parking place) and a heritage railway museum with an historic old village close by. There is a well respected archaeology museum too!

We arrived at 12:30 having taken just over two hours to bumble the 91kms from Strepy Thieu – we would have stopped for coffee but I do not have a note of that but even so that is not exactly rushing along!

The aire is quite small and fairly busy with a number of vans there by night but no other Brits. The motorhome in front of us in the photo below which is about the same size as Bertie had a family of five aboard!

The dedicated aire at Treignes station. Our first ever proper aire AND next door to a railway museum!!
Railcar arrives at Treignes Railway Museum. Note Bertie in the background!

We went straight to the museum both because we wanted to see it but also this is where one has to buy the “jetons” (coin-like tokens) that we needed to use to get water from the service point. These are standard Euro Relais jetons that will work in any service points of that brand in any country! We bought to 2 jetons at €2 each but only used 1 today. In fact the other one was not used until 29th May in Hondeschoote in France just before we came home!

The Railway Museum, or the “Steam Railway Museum of the Three Valleys” as it is officially called, is large and impressive with a huge shed crammed with locomotives, railcars, carriages, models and lots of railway stuff. We would have liked to have a ride on the little trains that ran up and down the 14km line from Mariembourg but the timings did not work out for us being primarily designed to bring people from Mariembourg to visit the museum and then taken them back.

Inside the railway museum where every bit of space was used!

After we had had our fill of trains we filled Bertie with water! Then I had a walk in to the village of Treignes about a mile away to see if there were any shops of anything of note. It was tiny, cute village with a fine old bridge across the river but not a shop to be seen – not even a bakery!

The old bridge at Treignes – very busy with kayakers.

Not a peaceful evening as the resident of one of the nearby housing decided that the warm sunny evening would be enriched by addition of loud pop music that he was keen to share with the local area whilst he himself sat in his garden. However he relented at 21:30 and went indoors and switched of his substantial music system to our huge relief!

Lovely day again and the dawn chorus was superb too if only the wee birdies could hold on until a more civilized hour to entertain us so beautifully. Quite a short drive planned today so we had time for the Archaeology Museum – two excellent museums so close to the each other! This was really good with both a large indoor exhibition all about the evolution of man and his technology through pre-history and outside there are reproductions of early human dwellings including the outlines of a mammoth bone hut such as have been excavated in Siberia where, at the time, mammoth bone was more common than timber!

Reconstructed outline of a mammoth bone hut.

We were on the road again at 12:20 on our way to France but  just for the one night. We only had the one night at Treignes but it felt longer as we had had all yesterday afternoon and all this morning here. Yet another place that is on that growing list of places I want to visit again one day!

Trains at Treignes
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