Both Netherlands and Belgium have recorded their highest temperatures on record today. According the Accuweather the high in Antwerp was 37 today. It is incredibly hot.
We took the most direct route to Antwerp – making it in just on 56 km. Our route was along the F4 Gent-Antwerpen bicycle highway. This seems fairly new, and directs you on the fastest routes between the two cities. A lot of it is alongside a railway line, so not particularly interesting. However the alternative river route was over 90 km, just not feasible in the heat.
As it was, we arrived in Antwerp before 1 pm. We enjoyed finding our way across the Schede river, to the center city using a bicycle and pedestrian tunnel. A huge lift takes you 31 km down to the tunnel. The best thing about it was that it was so COOL riding through the tunnel – really refreshing.
After having a quick look around the old city (too hot to linger), we went back through the tunnel and rode a little way along the river (the path was almost unbearably hot with no shade) to another lift and tunnel and crossed again! The Youth Hostel allowed us to check in early, due to the heat and we didn’t venture far again. The Youth Hostel was not air conditioned and at one stage we went and sat in the basement dining hall to try and escape the heat. At least they had beer.