At first sight, you wouldn’t think that the small town of Oudenaarde is a popular stop for visitors, but it has two big main draws that attract people from all over the world: the world famous road biking routes, and the music festival Feest in Het Park.
When arriving at the B&B we quickly got the hint: this town was all about biking – the walls were covered with photos, t-shirts and autographs from famous bikers, and when sitting down for breakfast we shared table with the entire Australian national youth team, who told us that two other national teams from UK and USA were also staying there.
The team, along with a handful of other teams, were living in Oudenaarde for the next few months to train.
This place was a serious road biking mekka, and equipped with over 15 pages of biking maps, we were off to explore the routes.
Nathan would take care of the camera, and I was in charge of directions – this, naturally, turned out into us having great photos, but getting lost after only five minutes…
I don’t know where I get these ideas from that I’m so great at biking and orienteering, because every time I prove myself otherwise.
After 10 minutes trying to find the right way, the map was no longer useful, so we “decided” to just bike around.
You probably know the famous quote “not all those who wander are lost”. I think it’s more like “when you’re lost, you might as well enjoy it”.
I’m not going to deny that I was completely lost, but it doesn’t always matter so much when the surroundings are beautiful anyway.
Part of the enjoyment of new places is to not really know where you are or where you’re going – I remember someone who once told me that you can’t be lost if you don’t care where you’re going … and you may just stumble upon a “frites” shop that has the biggest servings you’ve ever seen..! (see the picture above!)
Feest In Het Park (Party in the Park)!
The same evening, we biked down to Feest in het park, a festival that has developed from being a small, free event for locals, to a famous festival which people travel from all over Europe to visit.
Feest in het Park is not the biggest festival in Flanders, but the people we talked to preferred it over the others because it was much cozier and had a friendlier vibe.
With the sun setting over the lake, and the ferris wheel switching on its red lights, the festival park took on that very special cozy atmosphere they all had been talking about.
Unlike festivals like MetalTown in Sweden – Feest in het park was a very mixed festival, which naturally attracted a very mixed crowd – each tent had its own music genre, from House to Reggae to Rock.
The best part was that you got to explore different styles of music, and nobody stuck to their “genre” – you would see an audience with Goths and Rasta Farians listening to House music – this place was awesome!
Not only does it bring people together, but people with different tastes and likes who might not otherwise have met at other festivals.
We had a great time, and found some new bands we really liked, which is always the best thing about festivals.
We had no idea how many festivals Belgium had until we went on this trip, and in the future we’ll definitely look into other festivals to visit in Belgium.
Note: Special thanks to Visit Flanders for arranging our trip to Belgium.