Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bike and Barge: Day 1

7/26 Bruges to Aalterbrug and sailing to Ghent. 23km.

Our first glimpse of the Sailing Home came in Bruges, Belgium, where we joined her for our trip.
After being welcomed aboard, we were assigned cabins and introduced to the boat and the crew:
Captain, Willy-Belgian
Chef, Markus-German
Guide, Piet-Dutch
Sailor, Rita-Dutch
Assistant, Riannne-Dutch

Our fellow cycle tourers consisted of twenty three fellow Americans and one Dutch aunt. There were three family groups (including ours) among this number.

We tried out our bikes on a little jaunt along the canal path and got to know our guide, Piet.

The bikes were 8 speed, triple ring, hybrid type bikes, with 700 wheels. They were equipped with a bell, lights, trip computer, and a waterproof pannier. We were all provided with a water bottle.  The bicycles were purchased new this season and appeared to be in good shape.

After rejoining the boat, we hung out on the sun deck and visited with our fellow passengers, as the boat made her way to Ghent for the night.

Dinner: Cream of mustard soup, Belgian stew, served with couscous, green beans, salad,  and bread. Dessert was a sorbet. Delicious!

The Sailing Home built in 2001 as a passenger ship. It has 13 cabins and can accommodate 26 passengers. It is 45 m long and 6.5 m wide. 

Our spacious cabin aboard the Sailing Home was furnished with a/c and a private bathroom. Very comfy beds, too. I slept like a baby every night.

We tried out our bikes on the first day by riding 23km to the village of Aalterbrug.

This is Piet, our Dutch guide. We all really enjoyed our time with him.