Friday 14 August
From 17h30 to 01h30
Observatoire Centre Ardenne, Grapfontaine
Transportation by 4* luxury coach
It’s time for some serious stargazing! After several successful and fun visits to the Planetarium in Brussels and the Public Observatory in Grimbergen, we take things to the next level again. Join us on this trip to the Ardennes to enjoy the celestial spectacle together with a group of enthusiast expats. Summer evenings are always nice for watching the skies, but we choose this date because our Planet Earth is passing through the Perseids meteor field, resulting in countless shooting stars in the sky. On top of that we will enjoy a presentation in a special domed planetarium and we will be able to watch through several professional telescopes (e.g. to look at planets, nebulas and other celestial objects). And as a bonus we also offer you a complimentary BBQ! What a night!!! For this trip we maintain a good-weather guarantee. If it is too cloudy we will cancel the trip. But be aware we had to disappoint dozens of people in previous years because it was fully booked, so reserve your spot on time.
If you are interested in this trip, pre-reserve a spot now.
We will inform you when you actually book the trip.
This service is for free and comes without obligations.
- Transportation by 4* luxury coach
- Entrance fees Observatoire Centre Ardenne
- Lecture and presentation in planetarium
- Usage fees of professional telescopes
- Explanation by experts
- Stargazing in darkness 🙂
- BBQ (several pieces of meat per person)
- Some other snacks and drinks
- A fun group of international people
- A lifetime memory
Coach pick up points
- Place Schuman, Brussels (bus stop next to KBC bank on roundabout)
- La Chasse (long bus stop on Avenue d’Auderghem, right before main intersection)
- Metro Delta (long bus stop on Avenue de Beaulieu, next to metro entry)
- Metro Hermann-Debroux (long bus stop under highway flyover, next to Loxam)
Who can join?
Expat Club is known for welcoming a wide variety of international people on its trips. This creates a special, open-minded, safe and friendly environment in which everyone should feel comfortable. You do not have to be a member even, and of course Belgians are more the invited too to join us. We always welcome many solo travellers, couples, retirees, small groups of friends and on this trip certainly also families.
What if the weather is bad?
Having good clear weather for stargazing is essential. The past 3 years it was superb 2 times, but another time we had to cancel the entire trip because there were way too many clouds. In principle we confirm this trip on Tuesday 11 August (the go / no-go date), based on the weather forecasts for Friday 14 August. If we cancel it, of course you will be refunded fully. But please note that you must book the trip before this date. Last year it was sold out weeks in advance. Also note that the early-bird deadline is 10 days in advance of this trip.
This mid-summer date is quite remarkable because around this time Earth passes through the Perseids meteor field, resulting in dozens of shooting stars in the sky. We will travel by luxury coach towards the Ardennes. We depart around 17h30 from place Schuman, so you can still eat something at home. But please also note that we prepare a nice BBQ as well for you! We return around 1h30. Since this is after the closure of public transportation we will not only stop at the pick-up points Schuman, La Chasse, Delta, and Hermann-Debroux but also at Merode, Montgomery, Diamant and possibly also Meiser and Evere). We will also coordinate shared-taxi rides (not paid by Expat Club, but for most people not more than a few euros if shared, or €10-15 if alone to many places in Brussels).
We arrive from Brussels at the Observatoire Centre Ardenne after an estimated 1h45 driving time. We will have a guided tour at the observatory and enjoy a presentation in the planetarium. Also you can look through various telescopes. These are some of the best in Belgium, and combined with the Ardennes darkness, they may very well result in the best possible viewing. But the best part of the evening is that you can look up into a clear magnificent Ardennes sky and observe the shooting stars yourself!
We’ve been able to spot pretty remarkable things in our previous trips, including planets, nebulas, and star clusters, and of course planets like Mars, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. We don’t know yet what will be best visible, so we leave it up to the OCA experts to decide where the aim the telescopes. They have several top quality (large) professional telescopes in their domes, and we’ll rotate the group to ensure you can look through them all.
Far away from the light-polluted Brussels area, the Observatoire Centre Ardenne is a place to learn more about the starts. There will be a presentation in the planetarium (dome-shaped theatre), and you will be able to through two excellent telescopes, the best in Belgium. Our guides will show you various celestial objects. Please note that we have to wait our turn and that our guides may not speak English flawlessly (they are local astronomers but do their very best to show you what the sky has to offer).
It is possible there are many clouds when we travel to the Ardennes. On Wednesday 7 August Expat Club will take a final decision whether the event will take place or not. Please, do not delay your registration, though. If the weather does not permit this experience, you will, of course, be refunded fully.