Netherlands no more


The day has arrived that we must leave the Netherlands. It’s exciting to be heading south but we have loved our time here and are sad to go. Cyclists are really spoilt in this civilised country.

We had another perfect day: sunny, blue skies, cool and a north-easterly wind aiding our progress most of the time. Our Warmshowers host warned us not to expect too much of Vlissingen but, notwithstanding some working class northern suburbs, we found the centrum to be a gorgeous little port with a small boat haven surrounded by high flood walls. The town seemed strangely deserted but a dog-walking local assured us that it was just a normal working day and most people were inside at their desks.

We crossed the Sheldt river estuary by the passenger-bicycle ferry that runs every 30 minutes from Vlissingen to Breskens and then sped south with a tail wind to Ghent in Belgium. The cycling facilities deteriorated as soon as we crossed the border and we often had to share the road with speeding cars and trucks and huge-wheeled tractors hauling over-width manure trailers.

Ghent is a busy, sprawling city by European standards. The old town has canals, many rough cobbled streets with plenty of tram tracks demanding careful attention from the teeming cyclists.

Our Airbnb is a tiny terrace house with a pokey kitchen and bathroom and a precipitous staircase but a charming atmosphere. Tine, our host, is friendly and helpful. Her boyfriend Damien is huge – maybe 7 feet tall – so we guess he feels the squeeze.

After another long day (90 km) – we’ve had beer and frites and will sleep well tonight. Tomorrow night we will be in France.

Today’s route

One Response to “Netherlands no more”

  1. Herman Vandecauter Says:

    And yes Gent is nice but not for Bicycles but also very difficult for cars! I must have prepared a walk in Gent to put in your Garmin. The Garmin is nice to prepare trips if you use Basecamp as well on your PC.

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