6th March 2011
We crossed the border and were initially confused that cyclistsweren’t allowed to cycle on the road. After a few minutes we discovered that we had our own roads!
We cycled to the first town, where we met Thomas, a local cyclist, who was very helpful and cycled us to his home where we drank a coffee with him and enjoyed some Belgian chocolates!
The cycle to Bruges was quite tough, with the continuing headwind and a few ‘incidents’ with Mike’s pedals! We met up with Philippe who took us out for a fantastic dinner, with Belgian shrimp for starters and the biggest, tastiest steak of our lives!
7th March 2011
We definately made the most of the breakfast from the hotel, leaving the rest of the guests a meer few crumbs! After exploring the city of Bruges in the morning, we met up with Philippe for the first of many coffees!
Two television interviews proceeded this, which involved cycling around the main square and then answering a few questions. After doing a small street collection in the square, we went all the way up the 366 steps of the Bell Tower. The intrquecy of the bells inside this is really quite special.
In the evening, we further explored the city, and tried our best to capture the beautiful rivers and streets of Bruges at night.
8th March 2011 Bruges > Antwerpen
After wolfing the buffet breakfast, we were blown along the cycle track to Antwerpen. It had become noticebly warmer today, and we enjoyed some Belgian chocloates en route.
Arriving from the west, there was a mass of industry, with factories covering the skyline and freight lorries, the roads. We entered the city via a long tunnel which runs 33metres beneath the ground from the outer suburbs to the beautiful city centre.
We met up with Philippe and Hiro here, as well as a few jounralists from local newspapers. The hotel we stayed at was fantastic, although made the mistake of eating the crisps which had been left in the room. It came to our knowledge that these two bags had cost 5€! Oops!
Philippe and Hiro took us out for a meal later in the evening, where we enjoyed some local beers as well as good food.
9th March 2011 Antwerpen
As ever, we made the most of the breakfast provided, this time with baked beans! Presumably catering for all the English people in the hotel.
Met Philippe who gave us a tour of Lanxess’s Antwerpen sites before heading to the canteen. Here we sold water bottles at 2€ per bottle to the workers and raised 120€ for WaterAid.
The Lanxess cyclists grouped together and gave us some lovely chocolates, and had a few photos taken with them. After waving off Philippe, we spent the rest of the afternoon getting the journal together. Jon also had the chance to get stuck into his ‘teach yourself german’ course! We cooked some tortellini on the balcony for dinner & enjoyed some of the Belgian chocies!
10th March 2011 Antwerpen > Tilburg, NL
We were fairly late to arrive in Tilburg as we didn’t leave the hotel until gone 11 after paying up for those crisps! After finally finding a post office and being told off by the angry Belgian police officer for cycling on the street,(!?) we had made it to the Netherlands