Bedrijfsuitje to the beautiful Ardennes

What’s “Bedrijfsuitje”? 

Imbull tea
Imbull team

 

“Bedrijfsuitje” is a Dutch word for “work trip”. Last weekend, I spent an amazing time in the beautiful Ardennes together with my work colleagues from Imbull. As you may know, I’ve recently moved to Amsterdam for Master’s Degree in New Media, Social Media and Digital Culture at UvA (University of Amsterdam). I’ve also found a part-time job as an editor and country manager (Poland) at Imbull, which is a market leader renowned in the world for its expertise of online couponing. Me and a fellow travel blogger Anna of Anna Everywhere are working on international project called Flipit launched in several countries across the world, including Poland.

House in the Ardennes
The place where we were staying
Beautiful Ardennes
Beautiful Ardennes

 

Lucky me, a day after I signed my contract, the Bedrijfsuitje took place. It was a great opportunity for me to get to know everyone in person, chat with people and chill out a bit. We took off from Amsterdam Amstel station on Friday morning and arrived in the beautiful Ardennes 4 hours later, by bus. It was a very active weekend across Ferrieres and Namur.

The Ardennes
My room for the weekend. Double bed – not too bad :)
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Anna freezing!

About the Ardennes

Green Ardennes
Green Ardennes

The Ardennes

The Ardennes is a region of stunning forests, hills and ridges primarily located in Belgium and Luxembourg, but stretching into France and Germany.

Cycling around
Cycling around

 

Much of the Ardennes is covered in dense forests and high mountains and the region’s typified by steep-sided valleys carved by swift-flowing rivers where we did some canoeing. 

The Ardennes

Our work trip covered Ferrieres, which is a very small but extremely picturesque Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Liege, as well as Namur – the capital of the province of Namur and Wallonia. We stayed in a big and charming house situated in the heart of the Ardennes surrounded by forests, hills, fields and meadows. Absolutely amazing!

Mountain biking

Mountain biking in the Ardennes

Right after we reached our destination by bus, we all went for 2 hours mountain biking, which was so much fun.

A girl with a bike
Ready to go!

 

Once our instructor explained to us how the brakes and gears worked, we were off to go and admire the picturesque scenery of the Ardennes. It was a sunny day with no rain so I enjoyed the ride a lot!

Mountain biking
Following my colleagues

 

Exploring the Caves of Han-sur-Lesse

One of the highlights of the trip was visiting the caves of Han-sur-Lesse. They are major Belgian tourist attractions situated on the outskirts of the village called Han-sur-Lesse.

The Caves of Han-sur-Lesse
The Caves of Han-sur-Lesse

 

We accessed it via a vintage streetcar and we spent there more than 2 hours. The caves have a constant temperature of 13°C (55°F) and a high level of humidity.

The Caves of Han-sur-Lesse
The Caves of Han-sur-Lesse

 

Our tour guide showed us around the caves explaining its origin and history.

Snacks at the Caves of Han-sur-Lesse
Snacks at the Caves of Han-sur-Lesse

 

The guided tour ended with a sound and light show and a nice buffet of Belgian cheese and unlimited amount of champagne!

Champagne in the cave

Champagne in the cave
Champagne in the cave
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Anna enjoying her champagne
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Not only me and Anna liked the romantic atmosphere in the cave

 

Culinary experience

As the food plays a great role in my travels, I enjoyed a lot of new dishes during our bedrijfsuitje.

Delicious sandwiches
Delicious sandwiches

 

The breakfast usually consisted of plain buttery croissants, pain au chocolate, gluten-free bread with butter, a glass of milk and orange juice.

Breakfast roll the Ardennes
Lunch in the Ardennes

 

There was a great variety of sandwiches to choose from for our lunch. Brown rolls and white bread stuffed with tuna and mayo, avocado, pesto, ham, hummus and more. Everyone could find something delicious, light and nutritious for themselves. I enjoyed white bread with pesto the most, followed by wheat rolls with avocado and cress spread.

P7
Delicious desserts: macarons with ketchup and mustard, fried shrimps and ice cream

 

Friday’s dinner was the most delicious though.

Medium rare lamb
Medium rare calf meat
Fish
Delicious fish

 

We went to a very posh restaurant where everyone was served a 7-course-meal of fried calf meat or chicken, lobster, artichoke, plus mushroom pannacota and asparagus, macaroni with ketchup and mustard, fried shrimps, freshly baked baguettes with butter, and ice cream and Belgian chocolate as a dessert. 

Lobster, artichoke, plus mushroom pannacota and asparagus
Lobster, artichoke, plus mushroom pannacota and asparagus

 

The food was heaven and I enjoyed every bite of it.

Canoeing

Canoeing

Canoeing in the Ardennes

During the Bedrijfsuitje, we also did some canoeing. Believe me or not, but I had no idea how to row. It was my first time to go canoeing for 2 hours (not including canoeing in Ha Long Bay I did for a couple of minutes which does not really count), but I managed it pretty well somehow (getting to the finish line as the last one though).

Having fun canoeing
Having fun canoeing

 

The landscape was amazing! Really picturesque area with beautiful forests and clear sky. The water was freezing cold and there was a heavy rain from time to time, but the view was absolutely worth it.

Canoeing in the Ardennes
Nice view, huh?

 

Kayaking and canoeing are very common in the Ardennes, the jewel of Wallonia. Many tourists and locals enjoy the fast-flowing rivers from the hills through densely wooded valleys!

Canoeing in the Ardennes

Have you ever been to the Ardennes? Would you like to add it to your bucket list or come back again? 

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