Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Escape from Amsterdam

Queensday fell on a Friday this year. Public holiday, yeah!

While Queensday in Amsterdam is a lot of fun, his year we decided it was time to be out of town, and country even.

I took the loaded tandem into work on Thursday morning and took the train to Belgium after work, collecting Freddie along the way in Den Haag. We changed in Brussels and reached Namur in the Ardennes a bit after 10pm.

It felt really nice to be back in the French speaking World. Though there is much about Amsterdam and the Netherlands that I love, I find the casual rudeness of strangers that happens all too often a bit much, or rather not enough. I respect the Dutch for there Frank honesty but sometimes politeness is preferable.

On Friday morning, as the party unfolded in Amsterdam we cruised down a bicycle path along the Meuse river and admired the wonderful Spring colours.

We branched away from the river and followed the path of an old train line that had been converted into a dedicated bike path. It was so nice to be going through the countryside without having to worry about cars. The straightness of it got a little boring. We stopped for the night in a B&B in a nice old farm house in Macon, a small village just inside Belgium.

The following morning we crossed the border into France. Little stone and brick farmhouses dotted the gently folded landscape. Our road wind its way between fields and forest with the occasional pain au chocolate. We stopped for the night in a cheap and friendly hotel in Cambrai.

In the morning we headed North in the direction of Belgium. The guidebook found a nice path along public roads Tue finally dropped us off in Tournai where we took a train home.

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