Boat / Bike Tour #2

Saturday (Day 3): Ghent to Antwerp

Joanne and Bill were ready early on Saturday so they used the opportunity get a photo in front of the boat. The sky was grey but it wasn’t raining.

Here is the first group getting ready. It turned out that for the first few days we rode with the other six Canadians and a couple from Germany. Someone said we were the “A team,” but we corrected them and told them we were the “Eh! team.”

Our first stop after about 13 kilometres was in Temse, Belgium.

We continued our tour through the Belgian countryside.

We stopped at another castle just outside of Bazel. This one was available for groups to rent. I think there was a wedding there when we went by. They had a family area nearby and Bill couldn’t resist patting the horses. We had our bag lunch with a beer at the nearby cafe. (Cafe den Duiventoren).

After about another 20 kilometres of riding, we reached the St. Anna’s tunnel. There is a pedestrian and bike tunnel under the Schelde River. You can take a elevator, which holds about 12 people and bikes, 32 metres down to the tunnel. Doug and a few others chose to come up the old wooden escalator. It’s the same escalator that was installed when the tunnel was opened in 1933.

We had some time to explore Antwep. Our guide took us on a little walking tour to a narrow 16th century street. (Later that night we returned and had our dinner at a little restaurant that was on that street.)

Our guide also told us about a pub with a unique theme: “Everything holy,” she said. So we had to check it out.

She also recommended that we take the escalators to the viewing platform at the top of the MAS, a building with different museums on each level. Our barge is just visible in the lower left side of the canal.

Sunday (Day 4): Antwerp to Dordrecht

The ship sailed with us on it, for the first part and the last part of this section of our journey. (They refer to the ship sailing, even though it more accurately it should be the “barge motoring.”) We got up early to be on the top deck at 6:30 to watch us come out of the harbour. One of the bridges had to open for us, and another was just less than a metre above us. The flags are lowered on the top deck, which you can see in the photo below. We continued to the outer harbour where we could see modern windmills.

Soon the boat docked temporarily and we were on our bikes again. Since it was Sunday, we met more cyclists and most of them were in packs, traveling at high speed. We got a picture of one smallish group when we were at a rest stop.

We visited the Canadian War Memorial for Canadians killed in World War II.

The route continued on to a dedicated cycle trail. The dotted line indicates two way traffic.

Sometimes we were on narrow country roads. The dotted lines on the sides indicate the sides of the road. If a vehicle came up towards us, they would pull over until we passed. If a vehicle came up behind us, they had a harder time and sometimes followed at our speed for awhile until there was a wider section. Luckily there weren’t too many vehicles.

Farther along, Doug couldn’t resist stopping to get these photos of some deer in a yard and a view of the harbour.

When he stopped, he got behind the “sweep,” which worked out for him this day because Wendy was the sweep and knew he could catch up. Here is a photo of Wendy in her neon vest, at the entrance to the pier where the barge was waiting for us at Tholen.

She got a little closer and got a photo of Doug, Bill and Joanne posing among the activity.

We were on board by 1:45 and sailing again. We enjoyed the view from the upper deck in the afternoon. We even had dinner before we docked at Dordrecht.

Dordrecht was a lovely old city, but we chose to stay on board instead joining the group on a guided city walk.

Doug found a quiet spot on the lower deck patio.

We were now in The Netherlands. Onward to Amsterdam!

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