A Day in the Life of Ghent - April, 2016

   On one early Sunday morning, we woke up around 6am and decided we would go and spend a day in Belgium. Since my boyfriend says we visit Brugge more often than we visit London, we decided this time it will be Ghent.

   We were greeted by the border patrol in the Channel Tunnel terminal.

   And we got our breakfast from "Leon", takeaway, ready to eat on the train during the crossing. "Leon" is a chain of restaurants with a healthy concept and a good selection of vegetarian and even some vegan food. Basically, its a fast food restaurant, but super healthy and exceptionally delicious.

   City met us with the clouds, strong wind and wet streets, with the rain still falling down very actively on our umbrellas.

   I seemed to keep my mood and hopes up and I was adamant the rain is going to stop sometime...today.

   First place we went to, to improve the mood of my companion, was a chocolate shop, across from the main square.
Just look at those lovely brown, silky smooth parcels of melting goodness, those amazingly yellow mango hearts and the new generation of Cuberdons. We have also stocked up on the dark chocolate with green tea and with rose pepper.

   Do you see what I mean - you just walk past all those houses and keep taking photos and none of the houses look the same. During the Middle ages, Ghent was a prominent city state.

   Couple of times per hour there is a boat leaving from the side of the main square and you are welcome to go for a boat excursion along this beautiful river, with a rich history behind it.

   Have a cup of a proper hot Belgian chocolate first or after you come back from the boat trip. You can also have it both before and after :)

   Who can say no to this sugar dusted warm waffle, waiting to be smothered in layers of Nutella?

   I obviously could not resist it and gave in to temptation.

   Immediately, we gained two new friends, who would also not say no to a warm waffle and a bit of a cookie on the side.

   The fire pit  and the blanket here did not only serve for decoration purposes, but also to keep us from literally freezing over from the constantly blowing cold Flemish wind. We dried off from the rain earlier and got so comfortable in those sits, that it took us a willpower to leave this place with the most amazing view of river Leie.

   This is what the new type of Cuberdon looks like:

A Cuberdon is a cone-shaped Belgian candy. In Dutch it is also known as a neus, Gentse neus, or neuzeke for its likeness to a human nose. Usually Cuberdons are made with gum arabic and the most common colour for them is dark purple. However, in Ghent, and only in Ghent so far, I have spotted they do those new Cuberdons, where the outer shell is made out of smooth and melting white chocolate, coloured in the pastel shades of neon: gren, yellow, orange, pink. Once you bite off the top, you are presented with a smooth taste of raspberry liquid in your mouth. The pleasure is indescribable and you just have to try it once you are in Ghent. You can buy them in those small chocolate shops Belgians have there and the beauty of it is you just select as many sweets as you like, as they go by weight. 

   Finished with the chocolate drinking and sweet eating, we proceeded further deep into the town, being covered by the chilly wind and some occasional drizzle of rain. However, as I mentioned previously, the sun was still present there and it was mostly a light and sunshiny day.

   Gravensteen Castle was one thing I had my eyes peeled for since we sat down for a snack, or since we have even entered into the city itself. Its flags, blowing in the wind, were looking very enticing.
The bridge over the river Leie and by the Castle is called Hoofdbrug, and it was serving as a former public execution place. The most recent recorded execution took place in 1585. And when you have a spare minute, do look up a local legend about the father and son statues on this bridge, which have been removed at the end of the 18th century.

   And the square across from the Gravensteen Castle has some of the most amazing architecture pieces, along with the city itself.

   Belgium is a very quirky country, I find, and every nook or a little corner will have some amazing looking sculpture hiding in there, waiting to be discovered by you, or some incredible piece of the street art.

   And sometimes you can even bump into a cozy looking delicious Belgian beer cellar.

   A slow walk or a stroll along the river Leie, showered in the sun, which seems to appear there even on the rainy day will let you perk up after all those cups of hot chocolate and waffles. I have really no idea how does Ghent have enough of people to eat and drink all of this deliciousness every day.

   We walked though the small streets and pretty arches, by the river and some canals, finding some new and interesting behind every corner.

   Every house in Ghent has a little story to tell, and a lot of them even though might seem small, are actually rather big and spacious inside.

   Ghent is one of the best cities to go to if you want a short break, even a one day escape from London, if you don't mind driving back late, otherwise just get one of the lovely and cozy Belgian hotels in the city and drive home next day. As parking for the cars is usually free at night in Belgium.

   See you next time, Ghent! When its a bit warmer.
Have you been to Ghent? What did you visit there? 

1 comment

  1. Great post - really enjoyed reading it!

    Would love you to check out my most recent post and leave your thoughts <3

    Toula Rose xo