Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Ghent in 2 DAZE

Arriving in Ghent on the train, we took a taxi to our apartment. What a difference the taxi drivers from Bruges. In Bruges, the drivers were proud of their town and were as much tour advisors as drivers. They took pride in the cleanliness of the cars and their dress.

Ghent is a little scruffy around the edges and so are the taxi drivers and their cars - well this one was. No help with the bags, a cheeky attitude and not a great knowledge or care about his city. He asked if I would like to sit in front and I instinctively went to his driver's side. "You want to drive," he asked?
Being a little bold, yet embarrassed, I told him yes and that he could sit in the back if he wished.
I seemed to break the ice and his cockiness. When he realised we were Australian also made a difference as he thought we were English. He asked about Kangaroos and I of course told him that where we live they hopped thru our yard and down the main street. Hmmm, well its true in Trentham.

With out prior knowledge, we arrived at Ghent in the middle of a 10 day summer festival. Music, food, beer. We met our son Andrew in the mid afternoon to check into our apartment. Andrew was the reason to visit Belgium as he lives here and is on contract at one of the Universities.
His mother needed to see him so it was, hop a plane and go!!!

Although Ghent is a large city with the usual brashness, graffiti and noise that we are now unaccustomed to in a small Victorian town, it has the most amazing commercial and architectural  history.

The Lion of Flanders - the emblem of the region.

Welkom in Gent

Could this also be a Ghent Welcome sign?

 Another Canal Trip

Like in Bruges, we took a canal boat trip with a local tour guide who enlightened us to those early trading days. He had much to tell us about the various buildings we passed by that we would never have known by walking the streets on our own. we were most impressed.

In the very centre of Ghent sits Gravensteen castle. It was built in 1180 by Count Phillip of Alsace on the same site as a castle constructed of wood in the 900s. As centuries rolled on the castle fell into disrepair, houses were built around it, stone from the castle was used for other building projects.
It was to be demolished but the city of Ghent decided to restore it. It is quite a structure and we viewed it from our canal boat on what was part of the original moat that originally surrounded it.

 The above building you will see is built from timber, a rarity in Ghent but in Medieval times there were many and usually owned by the less financially influential traders on the canals.

The Scenes from Ghent

 Never drank so much beer of so many varieties

So I was in constant need of Ghent porte-loos.

 And then there was the constant lunches and dinners to be enjoyed.

 So how happy are these two to see each other again?


 What would a travel Blog by Leon without a Citroen?

Or a Bike!

Night falls on our short 2 DAZE in Ghent - today we catch two trains on the way to Amsterdam.
I wonder what adventures lay ahead of us? We will be sure to share these with you soon.


  1. Thanks for the photos Leon. What a lovely shot of Sue and Andrew.

    1. Yes, happy to catch up with each other after so much time with Andrew in Belgium with his employment. It was a trip planned and then my father passed away as we were just arriving in Brussels. Happy and sad.

  2. Funny shaped portable toilets. Made by Citreon by any chance ?

    1. Very innovating toilets just as Citroen have always been Stuart.


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