Crossing the border

I’m into my second country… Belgium. I’m not sure how many times I crossed the Belgium Dutch frontier today, but I suspect it’s in double figures.

I did about 75km today , and am camping just west of Eindhoven. The campsite I was aiming for is currently hosting a (free) festival, which I may cycle back to later, though my legs are a little tired. The site I ended up at is just a few km down the road, and seems very nice. Much smaller than yesterday’s one.

I tried a different approach to navigation today. All the Dutch bike routes are numbered, and these are labelled on the Open Street map. Rather than squinting at the phone, I just wrote down the numbers I was aiming for. This mostly worked OK, though I used the map for a couple of difficult bits and did end up leaving a town on the wrong road at one point. The purple line is what I was aiming for, the blue is what I rode:

Today’s route

The numbering also worked in Belgium, though it was noticeable that the bike paths weren’t (quite) as good, and in one place were up there with some of the bad ones in the UK (two way bike line with just a white line between the road and it)

The main place of interest on today’s ride was Baarle-Nassau/Baarle-Hertzog. This consists of ~20 bits of Belgium surrounded by “mainland” Holland (some of which themselves contain bits of Holland!) The borders are marked on the ground, and lots of places in the centre fly the appropriate country’s flag outside (Though I did notice one house on the outskirts with a Dutch flag flying in a Belgium bit, a few meters from a border) Luckily both countries are in some sort of union, share the same currency and have freedom of movement, so everything seems to work fine.

The borders don’t all follow the street plan. This Dutch house has its garage in Belgium.
It’s not all fun with borders… this is a replica of a WWI communication tower, with an interesting history – more details on Atlas Obscura

Planning to continue Eastwards tomorrow, through Eindhoven, and beyond.

Addendum: I should have said something about the landscape more generally. It’s been (unsurprisingly) very flat and mostly rural farming so far. Mixture of arable , animals and fruit. Went past rows of open polytunnels full of strawberries. The smell was lovely. A lot of the landscape is quite samey though. Yesterday was very much like the fens, today was more like Lincolnshire. Lots of long straight roads too.

A long straight road