The first few miles were fast and flowing before crossing the river on the ferry into Antwerp. In the middle of the day the wind finally turned against me as I rode down the Albertkanaal. I have a particular aversion to canal cycle paths. I understand why people like them, they're safe and by definition flat but they really get boring after a while and you are isolated from the real world of the place that you are passing through. The Albertkanaal was duller than most.
Luckily, perhaps, the Belgian summer road repairing season saved me from the tedium of the canal as repair works forced me to reroute onto real roads which was frankly a bit of a relief. Multiple reroutings later (they were repairing both roads and cycle paths all over) I was somewhat less less fond of rerouting. At least they look after their cycle infrastructure I guess.
My final destination was Maastricht in the little bit of the Netherlands that juts out inbetween Belgium and Germany, home of the Maastricht Treaty and the resulting Euro currency.
Most of the evening was spent in Cafe Zondag where conversation ranged over the purposes and philosophy of travel - as in many smaller countries, people in Holland love to travel - and the iniquities of the historical footballing failures of both the English and the Dutch exacerbated by the upsetting number of German World Cup victories.