Tandem Tour 2014 – Brugge to Ghent

Brugges_GhentThe route between these two cities for the cyclist is magical. In the first instance it follows the N50 (Baron Ruzettelaan)  due south (the Youth Hostel and bicycle shop are on this street). At Steen Brugge it turns south east and hugs the Ostende-Ghent Canal. There are tracks on both sides and plenty of café/bakery opportunities for refreshment. There is also a mixture of meadow and woodland landscapes with their microclimates.

One of advantages of riding a bicycle the likelihood of encountering DSCF0613objects that come from an earlier, albeit modern, era. So, whilst stocking up on food in Bellem, I spotted an old oil company sign that framed a picture for me (right).

The approach Ghent is also along a canal. The key decision is when to leave the canal and head into town (for us, we were keen to find the tourist information centre). A bit of local knowledge was sought from a restaurant masquerading as a hotel (another feature of Flanders) and in we went along Hoogstraat. The Tourist Information Centre is located adjacent to the castle (Gent Gravensteen).

DSCF0669We opted for the campsite (Blarmeersen) which is part of a very large sports complex in the South West of the City. It is relatively easy to find if the canals are used as a guide. It took us about 30 minutes or so to cycle. On the way we had 50c extracted from us by a group of girls who essentially acted as gatekeepers to the path. 50c for a glass of apple juice or water, or no passing. A small price to pay for apple juice and, again, that invaluable local knowledge. The campsite is the terminus for one of the bus routes into the city. One thing I am not keen on is getting back on the bicycle to cycle in to town. Once the tent is up, for me, that is it, mobility is provided by some mechanical traction until the next day.

We took a day out in Ghent to visit the fine art gallery in the Stadtpark (Museum voor SchoneDSCF0615 Kunsten, right). The contents of the gallery will be the subject of another post. Suffice to say, it hosts influential and historically important paintings from some of the region’s most famous artists.

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