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Liege and Limberg Transport Help Needed

My father-in-law was a member of the US Army’s 99th Infantry Batalion, a WWII unit composed solely of Americans of direct Norwegian descent and Norwegians. The unit helped liberate Belgium.  This June, my husband and I planning to trace the 99th’s steps and we need transport help in the Provinces of Liege and Limberg, Belgium.   We cannot drive ourselves.  We are traveling from Brussels via train/bus.

Day One: Arrive in Liege from Brussels via train/bus. Basing travel out of Liege.
Is Liege the best base for our trip?
Day Two:  Day trip by train/bus to Malmedy.  Doable?
Day Three: Rent a car and driver in Liege.  Recommendations and estimated
                 cost, please.
                 Travel from Liege to Dilsen/Stokkem, then return south making short stops
                  (Estimate 15 to 30 minutes each) in Lanklaar, Maasmechelen, Boorsem, 
                  Uikhoven, Rekem, Neerhaven, Lanaken, Zuid Willemsvaart, Smeermass 
                  then return to Liege.  A 5-7 hour trip with lunch I am guessing.
                   Is day three schedule doable?   We could add a fourth day but we
                  are concerned about the second day of driver/car cost. Recommendations for
                  scenic sandwich/light fare restaurant on day three?

Thank you in advance for your suggestions.

Posted by
33305 posts

For day 3 - I didn't look in detail about the others, but perhaps much of day 3 is actually closer to Maastricht?

Of course you are searching for very specific things, and for very valid reasons, just to say that as a place to stay and visit I much prefer Maastricht (Netherlands) and vicinity over Liege.

The three nearly adjacent cities of Liege in Belgium, Aachen in Germany and Maastricht in the Netherlands join forces for many things, and intercity transport between them has been improving...

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you! I will check out Maastricht as a possible base. Father-In-Law spent more time in Liege, but was also in Aachen.

Posted by
33305 posts

Aachen is also a pretty neat place. Cathedral with Charlemagne connections (important connections), and quite a nice Therme. The spa water running on the main street is a little strong but apparently very good for you. Big horse history in Aachen.

Posted by
2019 posts

I agree with Nigel that Maastricht is a more attractive and pleasant place to stay and closer to the places you like to visit. As far as I can see is that Malmedy has no train station, so if you stay in Maastricht you have to take a train to Liege (1h) and change there to a bus to Malmedy (1h). No idea how much time the change will take.

For going to Aachen you can take the bus (1h) from Maastricht and it stops also at the entrance of the Netherlands American Cemetry. The train will take more time and is more expensive too.

Not every place is within easy reach of a train station or bus stop, with a car this is lesser a problem.

I think best is to get in contact with locals who can tell you more about what has happened in 1944. There are always people willing to help you, hopefully the info centres of Maastricht or Maasmechelen can help you further.
[email protected] and [email protected]

Posted by
7556 posts

Except for the (landmark by Calatrava) train station, I've never set foot in Liege. There have been some comments that it's a gritty post-industrial place, but I don't know.

You should not assume that, say, Google Maps driving times will account for business day traffic and congestion on highways. You also have to allow for time getting from a highway into a city, if that's your actual destination. At least you don't have to worry about parking.

It is very ambitious to make so many stops in one day, even with a driver. You also have to possibly deal with your battlefield or long-lost barracks being an un-landmarked location. In that, it would be wise to do a lot of research, including Google Street View, and even record some GPS coordinates. If you have little actual information about the individual destinations, I would make this a two-day project.

I have spent little time in eastern Belgium. There is plenty of green space left in Belgium, but there is also a vast amount of suburban sprawl. We did stay at Hostellerie La Butte aux Bois in Lanaken, a luxury resort in need of freshening-up. In June, they do at least six weddings a weekend. It wasn't that noisy; I'm just trying to point out that you are not going to a remote, historic area.

It could be easier to get to Maastricht in June, 2022 because the big art fair, TEFAF, is resuming. But crowded hotels, of course.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you all again for your insights. There is a good reminder in your words not to expect that the surroundings are the same as they once were. My husband was 2-3 years old when his father was in Belgium, so I think husband wants to fill a void a bit in any case.

I have a few names of Belgian medical men my father-in-law worked with and I will check the furnished addresses for help from “locals.”

Posted by
14580 posts

After the liberation of Paris, the Allies had the Germans on the run, the British reached Brussels in early September and liberated the city amidst cheering crowds. Then came the disaster at Arnhem in Holland two weeks later.