Planning - The land of the Belgians and Luxembourgeois - CycleBlaze

Planning

(excessive)

My confidence in my long-distance riding abilities was not exactly well established - and I would be the first to admin that of my mechanical and navigational skills were pretty basic.

So I think it's fair to say I overcompensated by planning the hell out of this tour. Looking back after doing far longer tours in far more remote places, I'm amazed by the amount of detail I tried to get written down before I went. Going through my old files, I'm amazed to not only find loose plans and distance estimates, but pages of screenshots from Google maps indicating the exact route - and even a set of fixed directions that I came up with by "walking" through the route on street view.

The general plan was to take a ferry from Dover to Dunkirque, and from there cycle the few miles over the Belgian border. I would hug the coast, bypassing Oostende before heading inland to Brugge (or Bruges). From Brugge, I'd cross flanders to Ghent, before continuing South East into Brussels. Leaving Brussels, I'd cross over into Wallonia, coming to the regional capital of Namur on the river Meuse. I'd follow the Meuse South, and then peel off into the hilly Ardennes. I'd have a rest day at Rochefort, home of the famous Trappist beer, before continuing to La Roche en Ardenne. From there, I would be in striking distance of the Luxembourg border - I would cross the tiny country, breaking the journey near the East border with Germany at Vianden. Then the last stretch would take me to Luxembourg City itself in the South of the country.

To get home, a couple of trains would take me back to De Panne in Belgium, near the French border and Dunkirque - it would then be a short ride back to the port.

This was my complete route, assembled out of bits of Google maps
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