And now we move on to the Belgian portion of the photos. Situated halfway between Brussels and Bruges (it’s a 25 minute train ride from Brussels, and pro-tip, no one ever collects your train tickets in the country) in the heart of the Flanders region, Ghent is what I imagine Bruges was 10 years ago before tourists found out about it. It’s picturesque, untouched, filled with gorgeous architecture, winding canals, and super friendly locals who all speak Flemish. And at the risk of sounding wholly ignorant, it sounds like everyone is making fun of the Swedish Chef. The local speciality is a dish called waterzooi, which is pronounced exactly as it looks. Water. Zoo. EEEEE. It’s a cream-based fish soup, and it’s delicious.
We only spent 24 hours in town before moving on to Bruges. If I could change one thing about our trip, it would be to have spent more time in Ghent. We toured a castle from the 1100s, had a long and lazy lunch on the canal, bar-hopped with the locals, drinking tons of Kriek (sour cherry lambic!), and one weird guy befriended us and bought us drinks. We were convinced he was going to follow and murder us but really he was just awkwardly overfamiliar (he mentioned he had six kids. “Three boys, four girls.” At least we had math skills in common). We stayed in the most gorgeous hotel I’ve ever seen (where I left my macbook charger under the desk), never paid for the tram (I’m serious, it’s like tickets are optional in Belgium), visited the Design Museum, stopped into about 15 magnificent churches, and had a traditional Flemish dinner.
Ghent, man. It seriously charmed the pants off of me.
The foyer of our hotel. To give you a sense of scale, that archway under the stairs is 7 feet tall.
Tomorrow, Bruges! I’m lining these posts up in the order in which we were in each city, in case you were curious.