Yes we did it!
There are a lot of ways to get from Ghent to the Belgian Coast. The most popular one is by car along the highway with getting stuck in the traffic jams as part of the experience ;-)
A cheap alternative is the train, but whenever the sun shines, it feels more like sardines in a can.
The healthy alternative is to use the old canal between Ghent and the North Sea. We didn't try to swim it. 58 kilometers is a bit too much for that, but with decent bicycles, we did it in 5 hours, including some breaks. The Canal is well known to locals but foreign cyclists use it far less. Our preparation was quite simple. We checked the site of Fietsnet and plotted the whole itinerary. Something like this: 5 - 50 - 51 - 54 - 53 - 32 - 34 - 30 - 28 - 15 - 13 - 9 - 59 - 56 - 54 - 51 - 50 - 97 - 96 - 95 - 21 - 15 - 16 - 15 - 6 - 3 - 65 - 64 - 58 - 63 - 59 - 16 - 25 - 21 - 22 - 41 - 38 - 36 - 33. It was incredibly easy. All we had to do was follow these numbers (or 'Knooppunten') along the car free towpaths.
The Leopoldkanaal was extremely scenic as it exists of 2 parallel waterways, lined with 4 rows of poplars. In Ghent we left most of our luggage with our hosts of 'Vrienden op de Fiets'. And we were lucky to find another sympathetic family in Blankenberge for our overnighting. The next day, we returned along the same route. Not boring at all as we did see a lot of new sights, we missed the day before. E.g. the size of the canal varies greatly.
To be honest. The weakest point of the whole trip was ... the sea ;-)
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