This rugged frontier -- where Belgium meets Holland, Germany, and Luxembourg -- is arguably one of the prettiest places in western Europe. The dense pine forests of the Eifel-Ardennes region alternate with rolling hills and deeply gouged river valleys, creating an outdoor playground for ramblers, cyclists, and canoeists. Known as the East Cantons (Ostkantone in German; Cantons de l'Est in French), this district in the east of Belgium is home to the country's German-speaking minority. Of its population of 100,000, two-thirds speak German and the remainder French. The whole area is sparsely populated and wonderfully scenic, with no end in sight of hills, forests, and streams. Outdoor pursuits are a way of life here.
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