Best Bike tours united in Brugge, Belgium!
What is Cycle Cities in one sentence? It is a partner to partner knowledge sharing platform for bike tour operators. Watermelon Ljubljana by bike is a member of Cycle Cities for around 8 years now. We have over 50 cities in our network from all continents of the globe, who do unique bike tours in their home towns!
What we all love the most are the annual symposiums where we meet for a few days to share knowledge and ideas, network over some great food and drinks and of course hop on two wheels and enjoy a local bike tour from our host partner!
We missed a few of the last symposiums, so we were extra thrilled for this year's location - Brugge, historic old town in Flanders, the region of Belgium with a big cycling culture! Our host - Jos and his company Quasimundo Bike Tours!
After a short flight to Brussels and a convenient train ride I arrived to Brugge and was immediately shocked by bike oriented infrastructure in this part of the World.
It was a short stroll to the amazing Unesco old town of Brugge with little cobble-stoned streets, canals, old houses and parks. Sun was going down and the lights made even greater first impression.
Some of the bike tour friends already did a Border by bike tour in the afternoon (to the countryside and border with the Netherlands), more were arriving this evening, so Belgian beers were already tested a day before symposium officially started. I also decided that next morning, before meeting for a bike tour in Brugge at 14:00 I stretch my legs with a bike ride to the Belgian coastline. Read more about this trip HERE.
It was nice to see old friends and some new ones as well! We split into 3 groups, we were guided by Danny, who knows the streets of Brugge like his own pocket, not to mention all the stories and fun fact about this town. It was truly of the beaten track, I would definitely not come across some of the gems on the tour. With some windmills of course and a stop in a old local brewery, time flew by. Check these photos bellow and of course join the tour if ever in the town.
In the evening we all met again for "know your partners" quiz, fun way to learn more about the other members of this group. We, together with Athens, Valencia, Liverpool just happened to win in the end! :)
Next day we had more "serious" topics to deal with throughout the day, which were very useful, inspirational and eye-opening. And for the traditional ending of symposium with "partners dinner" which was located a few kilometres from town centre next to a little lake. That meant a night ride there and back, which was a lot of fun, seeing 45 bikes with lights ride together! Food was awesome and most of us followed to a bar with Belgian beers after returning back to the old town. Some of the partners moved to Antwerp the next day and were guided by Antwerp by bike. I had to leave so I have more reasons to return to this part of Europe again. Partners, see you next year!
Text: Tevž Černigoj
Photos: Tevž Černigoj, Martin Riewestahl