Early morning departure from Antwerp
Early morning departure from Antwerp

The end is nigh… of the walk, I mean, rather than the world. Although that end might also be nigh if our esteemed leaders don’t get their act together in Copenhagen and set us on the path towards a sustainable future.

But for now let’s focus on the end of the walk – it’s a bit easier on the psyche at this stage of a long day.

Tonight we arrived in Mechelen, Belgium (where we are staying at the Youth Hostel near the train station, UncaDoug) and since we arrived 2.5 hours ago I’ve been sorting out final arrangements for our arrival into Brussels on Friday, and plans for Copenhagen. It’s all shaping up very nicely – with a bit of help from our friends. I have countless reasons to be grateful to the members of the Rozling community. Here are a few examples:

Team BB2B in Antwerp
Team BB2B in Antwerp

Baldwin Hopmans, without whom I would not be posting this blog. He loaned us a wonderful little gizmo that gives us high speed internet access for the duration of our stay in Belgium. Also thanks to him that we got some local TV coverage and this nice mention in the local press in Bergen Op Zoom. Not to mention the delicious home-cooked dinner! See also photo for a pic of coverage in an Antwerp newspaper today.

Frank Koelewijn, who I haven’t yet met but who has been spreading the word through Brussels about our imminent arrival – to media and others who hopefully might form a welcoming committee to greet our footsore but triumphant crew. He has also arranged a booking for us at a local restaurant for a celebratory dinner.

Yves Mathieu, presenter for The Climate Project, who heard me speak in Nashville in May and has put his Brussels house at our disposal for accommodation – as well as taking delivery of various parcels to await our arrival.

Plus various friends at the United Nations, UK Department of the Environment and Climate Change, Act on Climate Change, the British Council, and many others who are lining up interviews and presentations for Alison and me in Copenhagen. It looks like our long and winding road through Europe is going to be worth the effort – and I am very much looking forward to seeing what we can achieve.

As with my ocean rows, when the going gets tough (and yesterday was!) it makes it so much easier to keep going when you know that in the end it’s all going to be worthwhile.

Thoughts of a more reflective nature coming soon, I hope, but it’s now 10.20pm and my pillow beckons. Tot ziens!

Hotel Postiljon at dawn this morning
Hotel Postiljon at dawn this morning

A final note:

Last night’s top tips for places to dine and drink in Antwerp:

Pelgrom: if you love a sense of history, you’d adore this restaurant – vaulted ceilings and candelabra make for a uniquely gothic ambience!

The Eleventh Commandment (Elfde Gebod) – retired here for a nightcap, and spent a happy half hour commenting on the various facial expressions of the religious figurines that adorn every sill, shelf and beam. Endless entertainment!

Thanks again to Baldwin for two great recommendations!

And last but not least, a really great and very clean little hotel, right in the centre of Antwerp, offering excellent value accommodation – the Hotel Postiljon. Also a very decent breakfast to set us up for a good day’s walking – it was so nice to get some fresh fruit, as we’re mostly pretty done with the standard continental breakfast of bread, ham and cheese!


  • Roz, haven’t said hi for a while but I’ve been following your trek, enjoying your commentary, and wishing you well from afar. Cheers and happy trails; wish I were there! e.

  • Hi Roz and Team,
    Have been following your journey from Dunedin, NZ and revel in your efforts. Also such fond memories of Brussels…! Marmot is also my jacket of choice. Guess what? PM John Key, made a last minute decision to go to Copenhagen afterall. Due to international pressure ! Keep up your strength and persistence. Cheer, Currin

  • Dear Roz,
    I`ve heard that the climate Express will stop in Cologne for about half an hour? I`m from Cologne and if the train will be there, I`ll be at the station to `catch the atmosphere`.What a unique opportunity!I`ll try to get to the track to wave.Of course, I would appreciate it to see you and your tough team,if it`s not too crowded, if it`s not too much hassle, you`re probably very busy on the train…
    Anyway, I`m looking forward for Saturday in Cologne,even though it`s for a short time. I´ll get a fair impression of the `wind of change`that I can share with friends and family.
    Wish you a fruitful journey! “The best is yet to come”
    Greetings from Cologne

  • Forgot to tell you your book arrived yesterday!!!!
    We have to decide who will read it first, my father is interested as well

    See you Friday


  • Good news Currin! Thanks! One of my best friends lives in Dunedin – Sinead Martin. Maybe I should introduce you two! Would be lovely to think of you thinking of us on the far side of the world…!

    Cornelia – would love to meet you! Not sure what the situation will be, but let’s try! Would be fun to at least get a photo together. I’ll send you my phone number offline so we can coordinate…

  • Roz, great photo http://j.mp/Lopers_BB2B_lopen … In case anybody missed the post on Roz’s Facebook page, check it out. We might need Baldwin to translate … after all it is his town, right?

    I love the title “Lopers BB2B lopen door de regio” … no idea what it means, but one might surmise: Lopers lopen is “hikers hiking”? Baldwin? Hmmm … ’tis the season for lopers lopen …

    Four Lopers lopen … Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree.

    For me — who knows just enough Spanish, French, Japanese, Cantonese and Tagalog to order a drink, say hello, goodbye, good taste and thank you — the smattering of English words interspersed makes it almost possible to figure out … Baldwin … help with the long words, please … and the short words too, please!

    OSSENDRECHT/BERGEN OP ZOOM – De lopers van “Big Ben 2 Brussels” zijn op maandag en dinsdag door de regio gelopen. … De tocht “Big Ben 2 Brussels” leidt ze vanaf de Big Ben in London naar Brussel, vanaf daar zullen ze in de “United Nations Climate Express” trein naar Kopenhagen gaan waar de “United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009” bezig is. Daar aangekomen zullen ze aandacht vragen voor klimaatverandering.

    Looks like this is your final day of walking, Roz. Enjoy!

  • Hello ladies
    I was wondering if you made it today with all that rain? And if you could tell me where I can find pictures of your last days from Antwerp tot Brussels? Thx – And we wish you a lot of succes in Copenhagen! The team of the YH Mechelen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *