Us and Them
Belgium was my first ever cycling holiday and due to the flatness of the land and the abundance of infrastructure for bikes, I can't think of a better way to see the country. I was not disappointed as it has so much to offer in terms of beautiful countryside, lovely old towns with stunning architecture, very friendly people and mountains of chips, chocolate, waffles and beer.
The mentality of the Belgians with regard to cyclists is far removed from anything I've witnessed in the UK. Not once did I see a car parked across a cycle lane and on the odd occasion when it was necessary to cross a road to reach another cycle path, a driver would almost always stop to let you go, regardless of any zebra crossing or traffic lights.
It was also refreshing to see so many other riders, encompassing a complete cross-section of the population from young children riding small bikes attached to the back of their mum or dad's full-size version, to pensioners ambling along with pannier bags full of the weeks' groceries. I can't help wishing that we could adopt some of these ideas and make cycling a more pleasant experience in this country.
I have included a few images from the big camera showing the cities I visited: Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels.