Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Beer And Bikes

Our landlord, Guido, welcomed us into our temporary home- which seemed to be a converted garage or tractor house (but beautifully done) with a gift of three bottles of beer. Beer is what they drink in Flanders, so we did too. There are hundreds of varieties- perhaps thousands. What we mostly drank was Jeffe Blonde. In Bruges, on the Burg Square I ate a huge dish of mussels cooked in beer with a side order of frites. It was really good.

Our apartment came with a shedful of bikes. I hadn't ridden one in decades, but I'd been told you never lose the skill, so I hopped on one- the very first evening- a lady's bike with only the basic gears-  and was off and away, flying like a bird. That bike you can see, propped up against a tree in the picture of the wayside shrine- that's mine. 

In Flanders pedestrians and cyclists own the road- with cars and other motor traffic having to fit in around them. Though it can be annoying to have to pull up sharply for jay-walkers and free spirited cyclists- who don't pay attention to motor traffic because they know they're the bosses- I believe this is the right way round. The meek shall inherit the earth. Because it's so flat, cycling in Flanders is a joy. I didn't do as much of it as I'd have liked because we had so much else on the schedule, but I suppose I must have covered something like ten miles in a couple of days. Frankly, I didn't think I had it in me.
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