amsterdam to bruges by bike and onto brussels
One of the many highlights of this trip was an organised bike trip, riding from Amsterdam to Bruges with a small canal barge to sleep on at night. The cycling was great even though the weather was poor some of the time. The route is dead flat which made it easy. I had the added advantage of an electric bike which gave me some assistance for my dodgy knee and helped eat up the miles. They made a decent effort with the food on the boat but it wasn’t worth blogging.
We stopped in some great places on the way, among them Antwerp and Ghent. Belgium is such a well preserved incredible chocolate box of old buildings, everywhere you look is old, gilded or sometimes both. Speaking of chocolate, it is everywhere, in all shapes and sizes as the photo at the top of the post shows.
After the fantastic week of cycling I bade farewell to the group and headed to Brussels by train. I arrived and was well prepared with directions to my accommodation. The only problem was I couldn’t find my tram! On paper it runs along the main boulevard outside the station but it was nowhere to be found. I eventually asked a woman in my dreadful French who answered me, the only part I caught was ‘en bas’. I’ve discovered that some of the trams run underground.
Brussels is lovely too. It is a manageable size for walking most places and with both French and Flemish influences. It is a riot of guided splendour in the centre as well as a treasure trove of art nouveau and deco buildings further out.
Vegan food was pretty thin on the ground, so I made my home away from home at Exki (the I in their name is a carrot) a cafeteria style sandwich/salad/soup/ready meal place with plenty of vegan options clearly marked. I pretty much lived there for breakfast and lunch.
Even the fries (that staple of a vegan when all else fails) aren’t safe in Belgium, they are cooked in beef fat. Sigh. Happily dark chocolate and the beer are vegan and Belgium excels at both.
Onwards to Germany, much more friendly vegan territory.
Exki Agora Branch
Rue du Marché aux Herbes 93,
1000 Bruxelles, Belgium