Grand Depart of the Tour de France

We made it back to a Park and Ride in Brussels for the evening. We had parked here when we visited Brussels before as it is just outside the clean air zone and is right by the Tram stop. Last time we just stayed for the day and moved on in the evening but having gained a lot more confidence in camping away from campsites we set up camp and had some tea.

In the morning we were pleased to discover that public transport was free for the weekend. We navigated our way to the start or ‘Grand Depart’ of the Tour de France as today was the start of the very first stage of the 2019 Tour. There was a stage with entertainment and stalls selling cycling merchandise, after a quick browse we headed to the start to take up a position just past the start on the route.

We found a spot behind an English group who were keen fans of Le Tour and got chatting. Dave was also very keen to consume some caffeine so I found a cafe which was doing a roaring trade and joined the large queue.

I managed to grab some ham and cheese baguettes and two coffees which came with a mini coconut macron on top. The lady behind me picked up a small bottle of white wine and give me a wink as if to say ‘I need this’. It turned out that the coconut macrons were needed perhaps as an apology for the dreadful coffee. Maybe the wine was a better choice.

Our knowledgeable friends explained the teams and who were the favourites and how the freebies were not very good this year compared to previous years. Then it was time for the off.

Despite it being a neutral start for 15km meaning that there was to be no racing the peleton shot off at great speed and all we could see were the flashes of the team jerseys as the riders sped by.

We then strolled around the area and recognised a few places we had passed on our eventful Lime journey to the European Parliament. Then we headed back to The Van.

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