Today’s ride took us straight over the border into Luxembourg, across that small Duchy (passing it on the left-hand side), and on into Belgium. I have always had an unfair view of Belgium as merely a through-road to other countries, and as we had decided to take the opportunity to visit Brugges as part of this trip (on other peoples’ recommendation), I was looking forward to changing my opinion. Brugges was indeed a nice city and looks like it is defintely worth a longer visit, but there’s something about Belgium that doesn’t really appeal. It has probably been the brunt of several unfair jokes, and the spoof 1989 Comic Relief Nosenight, which featured Lord Halesham repeating "The Belgians" as the answer to several questions, didn’t really help.
Having left Brugges, we headed back over the border into France and onto Dunkirk, where we had a disagreement about where we wanted to stay this evening. Chris wanted to go back into Belgium, and I wanted to stay in France, rather than go back on the route. I’m always happier (rightly or wrongly) to be able to speak the local language of somewhere I want to stay, and my Dutch is pretty limited, so we went our separate ways for the final evening of our trip. I found a nice place to stay in a town called Gravelines, right on the coast and on the river Aa (clearly named for the dictionary), looking out onto lots of yachts. The evening started quite nice but turned rainy, so I stayed indoors for the evening and read.
Distance: 298 miles