Day Three…

…or should it be Day Two! Since we were not travelling yesterday, does it count!? Oh well, it seems I have.
Day Three started with an early morning alarm and the familiar pack-up procedures, although we didn’t quite make the 730 planned departure!!
We set off into the chilly Brussels’ rush hour, making our way out to the Atomium.
I had heard of the Atomium, but I wouldn’t have been sure it was in Brussels, and it was not marked on the tourist maps. That is because it is about 8km out of the city, so we diverted a little from our route north.
I am glad we did. The ‘Belgian Eiffel Tower’ as it is billed is an impressive sight. Strangely futuristic in a 1960s way, and at this time of the morning very peaceful and elegant. Now a monument to a time when we thought atomic energy was the answer to everything.
Next we had another stop, although this was less off route. Vilvoorde is a town just oitside Brussels, where there used to be a castle/prison. It was here that William Tyndale was taken, and subsequently burnt at the stake for translating The Bible into English. I have been to the Tyndale Monument in North Nibley, Gloucestershire, and there are spurious links to my personal ancestry!
But, more importantly, I owe my faith in Jesus in large part to this man, who died so we could read the true scriptures for ourself, rather than have to take what the Catholic Church said for granted. He never saw it published widely, although that happened within a year of his death. There is a little monument in Vilvoorde, which we stopped at. We read a part of Psalm 119, and praised God for the faithfulness of William Tyndale.
Then we set our sights on Antwerp, although the town of Boom on the way looked intriguing!
Right out of Vilvoorde we were on a cycle path along side a huge canal. Winding back and forth across it’s bridges. A good quick ride once we got the rhythm, then just outside Boom, a ferry across the rivver! It looked like the bridge was not too far upstream, but the ferry was free, and I do love a boat ride.
Since Brussels there have been pretty much no hills, and that continued for the rest of the day, and I suspect week. The weather was also perfect for cycling: warm, but not too hot, and dry. So we made good time, following cycles route along canals, railways and rivers. The one feature of Belgium that is less great is the cobbled streets. They look nice, but are a night-mare to cycle on! Saying that, for a good stretch today the roads were cobbled apart from the cycle track at the side. Good one Belgians!! In fact the further north we go the more bike friendly it is. Now in Antwerp it is almost that bikes have right-of-way over cars and pedestrians. Cyclists can you the wrong way up some streets.
There are even tunnels especially for bikes. We have used at least two tunnels under the river. You wait for the lift or escalator. It takes you down and before you is a km or so long tunnel!! At the other end, you get the lift or escalator back up. It was brilliant.
We arrived at the campsite to find a fullsite, but he was kind enough to squeeze us in, thankfully.
We have headed down for dinner in town and I will share my thoughts on Antwerp later.

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