Thoughts on Belgium

We were only in Belgium for one day of cycling, we enjoyed the people, the food, the beer and the cycling.

Belgium is a small country in size it has over 11 million people. Belgium has three Official languages – French, Dutch and German, although there is also what is known as Flemish – sounds very much like Dutch.

We were in the Flanders region, where the language is predominantly Dutch.

The people were incredibly friendly and helpful. Our warmshowers hosts, picked us up from the airport (or at least took our bikes and luggage) we took the bus. I think this is the first major City that we have travelled to where I sent multiple requests (four) and every one of them responded with a yes. Of course, when you get the first yes you accept. Sonia was so nice and we chatted about the country and family. We went out for dinner and they would not allow us to pay for anything.

Belgium has an excellent system of cycle routes. We stopped a couple of times to check the map and other cyclists stopped to help.

The area around Brussels and to the border of Holland was clean. I think that was also due to the fact that they had ample garbage cans available.

Belgium has a system of bike routes referred to as junction to junction. The route follows a numbered system, where you need to know the direction you are heading and the next number for the intersection. It is very confusing at first, once you get the hang of it, it appears to be a good system for day trips and perhaps longer trips throughout Belgium connecting several routes together. Books are available with routes on cards with the numbers printed on cards. These cards are attached to your bike by a small “map” case. The books give you more information about the area you are cycling in and can be read before you leave or the day before you head out. All of these routes are also available on-line and you could plan a trip around Belgium via the junctions to junction system.

We only camped one night in Belgium and were directed to a Boy Scouts campground, the facilities were very clean and food was available at a very reasonable cost. Other campsites were available, however, some of these were designed to be for week-long guests with lots of facilities and consequently more expensive.

Too little time to comment on Belgium as a country, but we enjoyed the short time we were there.


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