As one of our guide books points out, the trip would be almost entirely rural, bypassing the larger towns of Oostend and Nieuwpoort but spending time in smaller towns like Veurne and Ypres. The guide book also warned us that we would have to watch out for charter boats as this is a popular vacation area and there are big hire-boat bases in Nieuwpoort. The first day we traveled south with two other boats and only passed a couple going north. Not what we'd call crowded! When we first contemplated the boat purchase, Belgium was just someplace between Netherlands and France; country to be crossed. We've discovered some really beautiful, almost deserted cruising areas, friendly, unpretentious people and truly spectacular cities. Despite it's faults (the Italians must have taught the Belgians to drive and Al Gore could definitely teach them a thing or two!) we really like Belgium.
As we passed through the opening bridge we asked the bridge tender if there was a place to tie up for a couple of days; we wanted to ride our bikes to Ypres. He pointed to the 1 hour limit bridge-waiting tie up and said, "there." When we told him we wouldn't be riding until the next day he said, "No problem!" Now there's officialdom I can deal with!