Tuesday evening and we just got back to the AirBNB after Belgium beers at Victoria and then dinner at Cap Africa. Variety is the spice, etc. Today was another great warmish, sunny day in Belgium. The plan was to metro train to Gare du Midi and then to Antwerp and then ride back to Midi and metro home. Once we were in Antwerp, the start of Sundays Tour du Flanders. I really know nothing about Belgium so everything daily is a surprise and an amazement. I may be a bit jaded from past travel experiences but I keep asking myself why I haven’t been here before to see and experience great places like this around the world. The train ride is getting more comfortable, still a bit nervous figuring which gate and platform to board on. The people around are friendly and helpful even though we don’t share the same language, we seem to make do.
Metro from or area to Gare du Midi, a main transit hub and then another train with bike friendly areas to Antwerp. You need to buy tickets for yourself and for the bike. There are conductors that come around and check and stamp your tickets and make you pay for what you didn’t purchase.
Off the train in Antwerp and we just followed our noses to look around Antwerp Central area. AMAZING, tons of old architecture and buildings that have been saved and re purposed. Lots of public squares with people looking around, cafes, pubs, public areas. Google maps is our way back home and the original ride back and then metro home becomes a same time equivalent to riding back to our BNB, about 2 and a half hours, 50 to 60 k. So, after spending about an hour riding around the central part, time to head back.
This is a bike friendly environment, cars give way (Usually), bike lanes are part of the side walks (Usually), lanes are painted on the roads if there aren’t lanes (Usually), you still have to be aware of all the traffic and when lanes close and end up on the other side of the street. (Like when the motorcycle cops honked and yelled at us to get on the other side a few days ago)
With a handle bar phone mount, recently purchased, following G Maps is OK as long as the phone battery lasts. The best part of bike travel is how intimate it is. We have seen tons of areas that we would not have found or seen if we were in a car or other transport. Brussels seems huge, we have seen some great, interesting parts by accident just following G maps back to home.
We made it home, loaded all our bike data to appropriate websites for sharing with friends and coaches, showered and found a local sidewalk cafe for a few Belgium beers and the found an African cafe for dinner.