Day 4: From Sint-Katelijne Waver and to Malderen

Schelderoute en Kunststedenroute

Although the Art Cities Route goes straight through Antwerp, we opt for a peaceful, rural variant along the Rupel. Thus we are deviating briefly from the Art Cities Route and we let ourselves be guided by the node network. This means that we have to cross the blue bridges of Rumst in order to get onto the cycle path along the Rupel. The climb and descent supply the necessary spirit.

We are fast approaching Boom. And then Tomorrowland is never far away, certainly as the festival will be in full swing within a week. Today the place is still quiet. We witness some of the preparations which fascinate the children. They already know of the festival (Karrewiet will definitely be there for something). In the future, it will become apparent how strongly these impressions linger.   

Brick chimneys, small villages with winding streets and train carriages that zap us to a piece of history in Flanders (from tomorrowland to yesterdayland).  Dad’s historical facts do not immediately grab much attention. Could this be down to the quality of the guide or the fact that we are about to take our first ferry?

rupel steenbakkerij
Paviljoen d'Ursel

Tip: the ferryman takes an hour’s break in the afternoon. We learn this from two Italian couples on a cycling holiday. Fortunately, it is a pleasant wait, especially later when a group of energetic youngsters arrive. Their enthusiasm and Bluetooth speaker provide us with a first ferry experience to remember. Even the sudden downpour cannot change that.

It is now back to the iconic cycling routes. Of the three routes that you can find between Antwerp and Ghent we choose the Scheldt Route. After the Wintam sea lock, we follow a slow travel variant through the quiet area of Hingene. Along the way we came across the beautiful De Notelaer pavilion. We ride on peacefully enjoying the tranquillity and the beautiful landscapes along the way baking under a sultry summer sun. 


In Temse, we rejoin the main stretch of the Scheldt Route. Via an imposing bridge over the Dender designed by Gustaf Eifel, we ride into Temse – accompanied by a heavy downpour – in search of a meal. The rain continues. Eating on a terrace with sight of the bikes is out of the question. Courage and morale sink for a while. Both parents give their best pep talk and urge the children to hang on for a little longer. Because a few kilometres further on there is a brasserie. And the rain radar says it is going to clear up. It turned out to be the right decision! The sun pushes the rain clouds off the stage and in Weert we are rewarded with a picturesque terrace. We feast on delicious croques and stretch our legs under the table. Deserved. Because honestly, at this point it was touch and go. As proud parents, we can safely conclude that our children have perseverance.   

Recharged, we continue on our way towards our campsite in Malderen. Felix is eager to take advantage of the flat asphalt and fantasises about being in the Tour de France. At the end of the day, he begins to pull off a few intermediate sprints.