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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Château Grand Bigard: # 3 of 10 - 2014 How to get there

Okay promised here is another post of my quick visit in April 2014 to the  10th International Flower Exhibition held at Château Grand Bigard in Belgium.

 To begin, I got there a few hours before closing time so other than a brief lunch in the cafeteria (set in what looks like a huge greenhouse) I spent most of my time busily taking photos since it is laid out over 14 hectares ... that is right ... hectares not acres. So it is a lot of area to cover. But first I had to get there.

 Unfortunately by the time I got to la Gare de midi / Sud station / South Station I realised I had forgotten to check which tram I should catch since I'd only been there once before back in 2012. After asking at the info kiosk I was informed I had to catch the train. The guys was sceptical about my instance that I had gone there by tram before since commune of Grand Bigard is not in Brussels but in the municipality of Dilbeek in Flemish Brabant. Since the info Kiosk was for Trains I was advised to check with the Tourist Offcie which fortunately was in the station.
The guy there also was not convinced but after checking on the computer saw I was correct and that you could also get there by taking the metro from Midi to Simonis and then catching the number 19 tram to Grand Bigard / Groot-Bijgaarden.

Yes I could have taken the train but I had a multiple voyage tram ticket which I wanted to use rather than get a train ticket. When you get off at the Grand Bigard tram stop you need to walk a bit to get to the castle. Maybe the tram stop is on the edge of the boarder of municipalities which accounts why it goes there ... I did not ask. In any case the stop is in the residential street and like last timFe there was not much in terms of notices to tell you how to get to Château Grand Bigard itself.

Basically when you get off the tram you walk down the road in the same direction the tram was going. The tram will turn left to the next tram stop. That stop will be the one you should go to when going back as that is the end stop where you should find the tram waiting.

After crossing the train tracks - you can see the overpass ahead

Anyway you staying on the right hand side. You walk straight ahead till you come to the train station which will be on you right hand side. It just a simple train platform not a proper train station where you buy tickets etc. You will need to cross the tracks and continue down that main road. There is a huge fenced off depot / office block on the left hand side right after the train tracks with a parking area. If you keep going down that you will see and overpass. That is the direction you need to keep going.
As you get to the overpass or rather the underpass since you will be going on the underpass part ... you will see some shrubs with yellow flower. Just because you are going to see a flower show does not mean you should not enjoy the sights along the way. There are usually also some nice wild flowers on the verge after you walk out of the underpass.
Under the under pass - you can see the town ahead

Keep walking down this road and you will get to a cobbled town square and a church. Turn right at the church and walk down that road which becomes wooded on the left (this is the boarder of the "castle" grounds). The Gate which is on the left hand side only becomes visible as you get there. There is a small ticket stall where you can buy your tickets.
Then you cross the stone bridge and go through the Gate House and onto the  grounds of Château Grand Bigard where the flowers await.

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My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters):
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) :
· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) :

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