Posted in Travel

A Weekend in Gent

Weekend – the word does magic by itself. By only uttering the word , you can brighten up a grumpy, gloomy, demotivated worker (and I really mean any worker with the usual weekend off). To brighten up one of my weekends (which otherwise would just be cleaning, eating and sleeping), my husband decided to take me for a drive. Fortunately for us, the forecast was of a bright warm sunny weekend and indeed it remained so. Perhaps, the weather contributed to our visit to the small city making it look so beautiful.

We started late in the afternoon from our residence at Eindhoven in South Holland and after about half an hour’s drive , we realized that we forgot our passports. After spending another hour in going back, I am glad we could hold back the determination to still make way there, thanks to the kind words from my husband like “lets see Ghent at night too!”

A straight drive of an hour and forty minutes in smooth international roadways flanked by green fields, decked by windmills and an amazing weather eased the journey in no time and we entered Ghent (Gent – as it is called by Europeans)- the city of castles. The cobblestone race surfaced roads, the old architectural buildings and houses, the narrow cozy lanes and the vibrant colors and the warm sun made it a wonderful evening upon arrival.

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Ghent is a port city in northwest Belgium, at the confluence of the Leie and Scheldt rivers. During the Middle Ages it was a prominent city-state. Today it’s a university town and cultural hub. Its pedestrianized center is known for medieval landmarks such as 12th-century Gravensteen castle and the Graslei, a row of guildhalls beside the Leie river harbor.”

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I would skip the history of the city as Wikipedia gives a detailed knowledge on it but my husband told me that one of Ghent’s historical importances is the Altarpiece (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghent_Altarpiece#/media/File:Lamgods_open.jpg). He later showed me the movie “Monuments Men”.

Coming back to our evening tour in this city, it is a quiet sleepy town with architectural importance throughout the city. Since we were late in the evening to have reached Ghent, we headed straight to Saint Bavo’s Cathedral which homes the famous ‘Alterpiece’, but unfortunately, that section of the Church was already closed. We took a round of the other parts in the Church. Completing the Church tour, we decided to take a boat ride to cover the city before dark and it was a chilly yet pleasant ride. If you are in Europe, there is no better way to cover the city tour than a nice cozy boat ride. Most buildings in the city are typical European architectural styled and prominently colored. Combined with the weather and the fall colors, the sight is indeed breath taking. I am not a history person and I can never remember the historical or important points but I concentrate on nature and architectural beauty and Ghent has both of these in ample to indulge in.

 

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As dusk dawned upon us, the city center could be seen burstling with people in the cafes for dinner and drinks. We too settled down in one of the cafe and ordered a very European meal of steak, roasted chicken, fries and salad, ofcourse over some red wine. And as it is rightly called to be a sleepy town, in no time the bustling city center started emptying out. It was soon time for us to head home after a great day spent in a great European City.

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