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Published: October 12th 2017
Such a lovely couple
Belgique, you are magnifique!!
We were sad to leave Oudenaarde, not only because of the memorable brewery tour, my dears, but because we had little time to tour the city.
We left Chiel and Jantien to sail Elodie down river whilst we headed off for another very pleasant cycle. Mostly along the canal paths with the occasional foray into the Belgian countryside. First detour was to a nature school for children. They had some great stuffed animals and birds and videos of birds in their natural habitats.
Soon after leaving the school I discovered I had a flat tyre. A quick stop to reinflate it and we were on our way. Next stop was a wonderful patisserie and coffee shop. It required a couple of hill climbs to get there but was well worth the effort. Unfortunately, my tyre had continued to deflate so Henry, Mike and I set to, to repair it. The repairs were non-effective so we reverted to plan B and replaced the inner tube. All of this seriously ate into out coffee and cake time but we achieved the desired outcome in the end (a repaired bike and
a delicious pastry).
the bikes and it was across the river to the bike track on the opposite bank. This took us all the way into Ghent. In the outer suburbs we stopped in a nice park next to a lake for lunch. Jenny and I realized we were less than 10 minutes cycle time from our dear friend Isabel's cousin's house. We skipped lunch and rode the short distance to Merelbeke to find the home of Veronique. After some hesitation at the imposing entry gates, we ventured up the tree lined driveway to discover an amazing mansion and, lo and behold, Veronique walking down the driveway. We had a lovely, albeit brief, chat with her and had to turn down her kind invitation to come into the house for coffee, due to the tight time constraint we were under. It was lovely to meet her and we are sure Isabel will be delighted we stopped by.
After lunch we followed the bike track the final few kilometres into Ghent. The last few streets brought us into the hustle and bustle of downtown Ghent. We deposited the bikes near where Elodie would berth and set off on foot to explore the town.
Ghent is another remarkable example of ancient Belgian architecture mixed with modern adaptations to make the city very beautiful and also entirely functional.
The good news for my part was that Jenny eventually found the handbag she had been searching for since we landed in Europe three weeks ago!! Happy Birthday, my love. The problem is that we now have nothing
to do when we get to Bruges!!
Back on board Elodie, berthed right in the centre of Ghent, we showered and freshened up and enjoyed a pre-dinner drink on the upper decks before the dinner bell rang, a always, precisely at 6.00pm.
After another delicious dinner, Henry took us for a walking tour of the city by night. The illumination of the decorative buildings enhances their features and gives the city a magical feeling.
A brief stop at a bar to taste a range of Belgian beers completed the evening and, despite aspirations that we might kick on and join Chiel and Jantien for a drink, we succumbed to our weariness and returned onboard for a nightcap and bed.
Tomorrow is our last cycling day so it will be mixed with both sadness and
a sense of achievement. Onwards to Bruges!!
Tot: 0.071s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 8; qc: 55; dbt: 0.0155s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb