We only rode around 55 km to Ghent today and our final odometer reading, after making our way to the hotel, was 59 km. The route was easy and scenic, along the Ghent-Brugge canal almost all the way.
The first 10 km, to Beernem, was the same stretch of canal we rode along on our way to Bruges – just a little quieter on a Monday morning. There were still a number of Lycra clad cyclists out training and one or two pleasure boats on the canal.
The last stretch of around 8 km into Ghent was off the canal again – some of it on a dedicated bike lane alongside a motorway. It was a relatively easy to ride into the city centre – with great cycling infrastructure everywhere.
When we got to the center, we were surprised to find the city in the midst of a city festival. It was also the start of a heat wave. There were signs up in the street warning people to drink enough water, and a stall providing free water.
We spent the whole afternoon in the “Mardi Gras” tent area, drinking beer and socialising – with some friendly engineering and medical students (Ghent is a university town), then a group of older ladies and a middle aged couple who all live locally, a British couple – both school teachers and traumatised by Brexit, and an American couple (who left quickly after Trump was mentioned). The music was also very good.