Thursday, August 21, 2014

Day 5 Antwerp to Dendermonde Belguim

Another day of riding, 52km, but in nice weather.  
It is amazing how easy it is to ride that distance when the weather is nice.  It may be that our legs and bottoms are a little more conditioned.
After a few km of riding, we needed to cross the river.  This was via a tunnel.  Into the lift to go down 31m, then ride through the 1km tunnel, then back up the lift and then on our way.
There is a large amount of sweet corn grown around this area.  One of the Bendigo guys is a COBWED and the other is a MAMIL.  ( cranky old bloke with expensive bike/middle aged man in lycra). The MAMIL converted to a COBWED today since he could be seen amongst the corn cobs.

Our first stop today after about 15km was the beautiful town of Bazel.  The local cafe opened up for us to have coffee/hot chocolate, delightful.  
For the hot chocolate, they bring out the hot milk and you add your own chocolate to the strength you want it.
The large mansion was built for a Count.  He was a collaborater with the French during the Napoleonic War and made a Count.  That entitled to have a mansion.
Lunch stop was at Temse, nothing particularly great about it apart from the cycle lane on the outside of the bridge.  However, this sign amused me.
 Like the Netherlands, cyclists are very well catered for.  Dedicated lanes everywhere, nearly all sealed, some paved, others in Belguim cobbled (which is not that comfortable, even on a town bike.  Don't know how they do it on road bikes)
Afternoon stop was at Sint Amrands.  The waterways in Belguim tend to be much larger than the Netherlands.
Our last stop for the day at our boat was in Dendermonde.  Unfortunately, the weather deteriorated and we got wet for the last half hour.  After our 6pm dinner, a walk into town ensued.  
Once again, like so many other towns here, the Church is the dominant feature in the centre of town with a large open space around it.  
The town hall or law courts usually come next in grandness.  
This down was destroyed totally during the 1st World War, so there are no buildings older than 100 years.  When rebuilding, they tried to recreate the style of pre war.  They did a great job as it looks like the other towns we have seen.
One funny sight in town was the great bridge that has been built in recent years over the river.  Only trouble is, the river goes no further than the bridge.  Must have had the Bendigo Council on this job!
Off to Ghent tomorrow. Chat then.  Bye.

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