With the canal de la Meuse takes you through the lush pastures and verdant countrside of Lorraine as far as Verdun, the River Meuse itself loop romantically into the tangled hills of the Ardennes whose forests act as a great lung for Europe. Home of wild boar, roe-deer and some of France's rarest birds, the Ardennes forest also shelter in their protected wetlands such rarities as orchids and the fly-catching sundew. At Sedan don't miss a visit to Europe's largest fortress, while you can discover all about marionnettes at Charleville-Mezieres, world capital of the art. If you decide to head for Belgium, you'll be struck by the very special character of the villages and towns of the Ardennes. Protected by the mountainous terrain they have acted as a natural line of defence and have been scarecly touched by successive wars. Close to Givet you can admire the ruins of Charlemont Castel, founded by Charles V The grand mountain scenery leads on to Namur and Dinant, perhaps the most lively and fascinating towns of the Belgian Ardennes.