Today was another long ride, as we wanted to get to Bruges and spend a couple of nights there. So we did 93 km from Tournai to Bruges.
We started along the Tournai canal out of town for about 20 km, until we joined the Moen canal at Bossuit. We turned off this canal just before Kortrijk to find our way onto the Leie canal. We eventually had to turn off the canal to do about 30 km across country to get to the Bruges canal. There were lots of fishermen on the canals, some set up with little tents alongside the path.
We stopped for a coffee at around 1 pm at Tielt, it was getting pretty hot at this stage. Afterwards we had a look at the unique statues (a devil!) in the church square.
Coming into Bruges was interesting. The number of cyclists picked up dramatically around 10 km before the city with many groups, of all types of cyclists. I got stuck in the middle of around a dozen elderly cyclists all riding sedately on electric bikes, and it was quite a challenge to extricate myself. In the meantime, there were also periodic fast moving pelotons of racers all decked out in Lycra. And all kinds of other cyclists in between.
We were not very impressed with the hotel in Bruges. It is on top of a restaurant and they were not very friendly when we checked in. This is the first place on our trip where they expect us to store the bicycles outside in a un-sheltered public area overnight. We pushed them a little and got agreement to put the bikes in a store room.
We went out and explored the town a little, including sampling some of the local beer – Brugse Zot (Bruges fool).
We ate our picnic (salad, wine, chocolate) in a park next to a canal.