Friday, April 13, 2012

Tour of Flanders Museum

On the way to see Paris-Roubaix, we stopped in Oudenaarde to visit the Tour of Flanders museum. We were lucky enough to arrive while Freddy Maertens (good interview here) was there, as you can see from the photo. Freddy works here most of each week. Being hungry at midday after  just a cappuccino and cornetto back in Milan, we first hit the bar/brasserie as you can see here. The food was just so-so (no surprise when you've come from Italia, after all) but the beer and atmosphere were EXCELLENT. They featured ILLY Caffe but it was some strange, watered-down version, perhaps unique to Belgium? We entered the museum next and watched a great 13 minute, multi-screen film presentation, followed by the museum exhibits. Given that their focus is just on this one race and mostly on the local heroes, this is an excellent museum, right up there with the Italian Museum of Champions in Novi Ligure or the Museum of Cycling next to the Madonna del Ghisallo. Larry couldn't resist a Freddy Maertens t-shirt in the gift shop while Heather found a reproduction of the classic Legnano cycling cap, almost a perfect match for our CycleItalia retro-jersey. They had a lot of other interesting stuff, but with only hand-luggage to fly back to Sicily, we had to be frugal!

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