As we rode out of Maastricht this morning, we finally turned off the LF3 – which starts way up by the North Sea, so we probably only saw half of it – and onto the LF6 route across Flanders.
|Hanging a right through Flanders. Goodbye, LF3.|
|Our home-made ("Sonia-made") rain booties. Simple but effective. Stylish? Maybe not so much...|
A few kilometres west of Maastricht, we crossed over into Belgium, and like the crossing from Germany into Holland a few days ago, we could feel the difference immediately. The building style, the gardens, and the farms are all very different than Holland. My impression is that the farms in Belgium are generally bigger; it also seemed like there were fewer little towns, and what towns there were were much sleepier – no little cafés and bakeries. At least none that were open.
|Girding our loins to climb a hill in rural Belgium.|
Tongaren is quite nice. The town dates back at least to Roman times, and there's a very good self-guided walking tour, with signs in four languages. There are some remnants of town walls dating from the 13th century, and a fairly well preserved beguinage. The main square is dominated by quite a lovely basilica, the building of which started in the 13th century. The square also features a statue of Ambiorix, a leader of the "Belgae" who revolted against Julius Ceasar and purportedly destroyed a legion.
|The Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe Basiliek and statue of Ambiorix in Tongeren|
It was in view of both of these monuments that I sat down to drink some fine Belgian beer while Sonia went to do some shopping. An excellent start to the last few days of our trip.
|Rodenbach Caractère Rouge, on tap no less. Gotta love Belgium.|