7 October 2017

Getting Lost in Ghent, Belgium

From my hotel window, I can hear the sliding scales of a bluesy jazz saxophonist, children softly singing a nursery rhyme and the occasional tinkle of coffee cups from a nearby cafe.

I should be parading around the town, hunting out all of the medieval gems with the keenness of a panther, but instead, as it's a Saturday morning, I've simply snuggled in further into the covers (more like a house cat in truth). There is a soft breeze floating through the ajar windows, I have a hot cup of tea cradled in my hand and no concrete plans for the morning.

What to do on a long weekend in Ghent Belgium Adventures of a London Kiwi
Disclaimer: I was a press guest of VisitFlanders in Ghent
but all planning, mischief and thoughts are entirely mine.

This is what I call a blissful city break.

I knew that as soon as I walked out of the hotel that there was plenty to explore, history to discover and frites to eat, but the tenor of our whole trip was relaxed. Even the journey.

What to do on a long weekend in Ghent Belgium Adventures of a London Kiwi

To get to Ghent I simply rolled out of bed and hopped on a couple of trains (that crisscrossed three countries), checked into the hotel and hopped onto a boat cruising the canals. It was that simple, that carefree.

What to do on a long weekend in Ghent Belgium Adventures of a London Kiwi
What to do on a long weekend in Ghent Belgium Adventures of a London Kiwi

Eventually slipping out of bed and into tourist mode, I picked up my wallet, the City Card that Visit Flanders had provided us (complete with map) so I could wander into any museums that I happened across and my phone.

And wandered.

What to do on a long weekend in Ghent Belgium Adventures of a London Kiwi

The city is compact, and an intriguing mixture of ancient and modern. Belgian beer halls sit a few streets away from a lane dedicated to street art...

What to do on a long weekend in Ghent Belgium Adventures of a London Kiwi
What to do on a long weekend in Ghent Belgium Adventures of a London Kiwi

 ...and the electric tram rolls past the cluster of Cathedrals drawing your eye heavenwards.

What to do on a long weekend in Ghent Belgium Adventures of a London Kiwi

Best of all? Fresh waffles on practically every corner.

What to do on a long weekend in Ghent Belgium Adventures of a London Kiwi

During the week Ghent is buzzy - full of student hubbub and lining the canals with picnics on sunny days, but at the weekends they mostly go home to their parents so the city settles into more of a sleepy hum.

What to do on a long weekend in Ghent Belgium Adventures of a London Kiwi

I loved both tastes of the city, and just meandered. (This could possibly be the subtitle of my blog - but I really feel that you get the best angle of a city by foot.) The centre is small enough that you can throw away the map, but large enough to spend a few hours peering into lanes and being surprised to discover cat cafes and ancient belfries.

What to do on a long weekend in Ghent Belgium Adventures of a London Kiwi
What to do on a long weekend in Ghent Belgium Adventures of a London Kiwi

I was also kicking myself for choosing Bruges over Ghent for as a day trip from Brussels a few years ago. Bruges is chocolate box beautiful (excuse the foodie pun) but Ghent has a spark of life that makes it a long weekend destination in itself. And, it's almost taken me longer to cross London than it took the Eurostar to get to Belgium.

Thank you Visit Flanders.

Have you been to Ghent yet? The trip excitement on my Instagram was awesome!

{{ Pin For Later }}
What to do on a long weekend in Ghent Belgium Adventures of a London Kiwi

No comments :

Post a Comment

So, what do you think? Comments are blogging mana; short, sweet, long, loquacious, deep and meaningful...