Thursday, June 29, 2017

The road to Brussels (and home)

After the hard day yesterday, I thought I was just about ready to come home. But when we started out this morning – relatively early so we'd still have some time at the end of the day in Brussels – I was immediately wistful, knowing it would be our last day of cycling. Even though our legs were feeling tired, it being the 7th day in the row on the road, we were both of the opinion that after a day or two of rest, we would happily continue for another week.

Such is the wonder of waking up every morning and setting off on a new exploration. Such is the incredible appeal of cycle touring.

Last day on the road
The landscape this morning started out much like we ended with yesterday, sans pluie, but after 10 km or so, it became clear that our route was becoming increasingly urban. As we rode south of Leuven (Louvain) in Heverlee, we came across Park Abbey, which seemed to be undergoing some restoration. We cycled under some lovely 18th century arches.

Park Abbey (dated 1722) 
Typical lunchtime view.
We stopped for coffee after about 25 km, and then for lunch at about 35. We had a lovely view, though we were happy to get off the cobblestones. We got to the Airbnb about 2, settled in and had showers, and then took the Metro into town to do some shopping. In my case, this mostly meant hitting Cantillon, a great bottle shop called Beer Mania, and the wonderful bar Moeder Lambic.

Toasting the end of #cycletour2017 with a glass of Rosé de Gambrinus chez Cantillon. 
We found a burger joint for supper then walked home via Brussels' always bustling Grand Place. 

One last selfie. 
Maybe on the plane tomorrow, I'll try to sum up my thoughts about this trip, but right now, I'm too tired, after 49 km on the bike and another 7 or 8 km walking downtown. Time to crash for the last time in Europe.

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