Belgium, I’m in love!

As I was walking the cobbled streets of Gent last night, in my rainbow long johns, jandals and Grandma’s comfy socks, I couldn’t stop smiling. I had made it to one of the prettiest cities I’ve ever been to, after a day that had it all. Starting in Calais in the the first misson was to find a way out of the city, and towards Dunkirk. The road I waseant to take was closed to bikes, and without a proper map, this is where the chaos began. What followed was navigating through the French countryside, until I finally got to Flanders. I had just read a book about Tom Simpson, a British cyclist who died in the Tour, and I had high expectations. And yes, it was magic cycling here, I could feel the the spirit of Merkx and all those great racers when I climbed up the steep hill to Cassel. Riding those cobbled streets I have more respect than ever, it is ridicously hard to ride those streets. I was just over the Belgian border when I had another puncture, but the good news a bike shop round the corner to get some pressure on the wheels. After that I finally made some  progressm getting lost ever so often, but managed  to find my way again. About 50km I had to ride alongside a main road, but there was a cyclelane and all main roads are lit up in Belgium. Unlike in Britain even the fuel stations clise early, so I was graving for some food, but had another puncture instead. It was quickly fixed with a new tube and the help of my co2 catridges, and just made it to the turn off to the centre of Gent. This time I couldn’t be asked and pushed. Not wanting to blow my  budget I was shopping around for a place, and could inly find an expensive hotel. Wondering into a Scottish pub I bumped straight into a whisky tasting, it was a proper Scottish pub, lovely as the ones I am so used to. A couple gave me directions to the hostel, and after more walking through this beautiful city I finally checked in. 20 euros for a bed was cheap, and the lady at reception made my day, helping me with everything possible. After getting the bed ready I walked around the centre and got some gems in my camera, but now it’s time for fixing both puncture and appetite. And then I am off with arriving in Germany today.