Brilliant tour that also can be enjoyed in a self-guided way using our GPS-tracks + maps & documentation. You will enjoy this ride in the green countryside with occasional pub-stops in cafés where time stood still.
Even here the relicts of the Great War become visible. But our focus today is looking for the good life: local pubs – cafés – where the owner happened to be also the local bakery. Or where pigeon farmers still come together for their tough competitions. Pigeon flights were big or small money is at stake. The talk of the day might be big or small politics, or just about recent football games or cycling classics (who regurarly have their passage here as well). Everybody is equal, that’s the way you are treated here. Local or stranger, without hesitations. Only problem: keep your eye sometimes on your clock, because time might seem to stand still, before you know it, another amusing hour has passed. Be back before dark might be a good advice if you succeed in combining these seducing stops.
Part 1: 4 KM Location: A taste of local farm products?
Why not start this tour getting in touch with local fruit farmers: the cultivation of high quality strawberries, apples and pears! Quite nice to learn about how a traditional farm is producing for export all over Europe but in the same time has a direct contact with local customers in the farm-shop!
Part 2: 10 KM Location: Appetizer at the 'Lustigen Boer' (the Perky Farmer-café)
This local pub has even been on television in the Netherlands (still a foreign country)! Patrick is the owner of a very, very local café that still has the atmosphere of the sixties/seventies. We are in Zandvoorde, on a little sandy hill (that’s what the name of the village means). Did you know Jacques Brel (famous singer-songwriter) his grandfather originally came from this rural countryside? If you enter the pub on the right moment the ‘picon’ (great apéritif) is waiting for you with a slash of accordeon music!
Part 3: 18 KM Location: St.-Hubertus lunch/drink-stop (option 1 of 2)
This village ‘Wijtschate’ was most of the Great War occupied by the Germans. Some interesting sites to visit (such as Bayern Wald). But also a very cosy pub/restaurant called ‘Saint-Hubertus’. Was the decor of a Flemish fantasy series on television (about illegal drugsfarms or ‘weed-plantations’)… But no drugs here, only healty countryside air to breath!
Part 4: 23 KM Location: Café à la Basse Ville in Wulvergem
You should have a stop at the Pool of Peace (Great War-story of the Mining Battle). It’s a tragical and sad story (especially for the Irish). Then we continue to a village in the valley of this ‘Hilly Country’: Wulvergem with its only but o so popular café/pub: A la Basse Ville (‘Downtown-pub’ if you translate it). It’s a remarkable folkloristic place where good eating and drinking are true values. But where people meet people. Sometimes when it’s the season of pigeon-competition you find yourself back in a quite amusing environment (especially on Saturdays and Sundays).
Part 5: 26 KM Location: Wine discovery at the Monteberg
Before Napoleon this region had a well appreciated wine-culture. But then it was prohibited. Around 2000 the recovery doctor of nowadays vinyards in “Heuvelland”, mr. Jean-Pierre Six started up again the old activity. With almost 10 vinyards in the neighbourhood now, this Monteberg-vinyard is a well appreciated pioneer. You might arrange before our tour a guided wine-tour including the tasting of different smooth wines! Most preferable in groups.
Part 6: 27 KM Location: Folklore games in Kemmel Village
We just passed along the famous Kemmelberg with its cobble paved stones (left side). You can stop all the time here and enjoy some of the terrific sightseeings deep into France from here. Cafés & outside bars (of the hotels) are inviting you to do so on warm sunshine afternoons. Of you proceed straight to the center of Kemmel town. A very small town but with an inviting green central square and yes, once again, a choice of local pubs. The Labyrint e.g. with indeed a real ‘labyrint-garden’ and inside the option to play some of the old party games.
Part 7: 34 KM Location: Dikkebus Lake & café America of the 'beer shop'
Almost back in Ypres the little village of Dickebusch and its water supply lake is a well-appreciated cycling passage. You might even have a last stop here: the lake-bar (at the end of your trespassing) or café America with one of the oldest café-ladies still operating? Or just have a look in the beer- (& wine) shop ‘Tommelein’ already along the main road between Dikkebus and Ypres, just before the roundabout with the old water tower. You might buy some beer-stuff for home…
Part 8: 37 KM Location: A football pub to finish?
Café the Rallye, if you have skipped some of the above and now, just before entering Ypres again, you feel like thirsty? Why not entering a typical ‘football pub’? It’s all about Football Club of Bruges here, where local fans have their fanclub from where the bus goes weekly to the game. But on big screens you can see what’s happening in the world of football or cycling if by any chance you drop by on such an occasion.