Friday, February 26, 2016

3 days trip to Ghent

We went on a 3 days trip to Ghent, a flemish city in Belgium. The city has a wonderful preserved and restored medieval architecture with a twist of modern interior design. I like the city, people are friendly, there's a lot of concept store, Scandinavian style cafés and restaurants. The downside, a great part of the city is cobbled. You might want to go there with a big wheels stroller. 
Rain was very happy to see us and it stayed with us the entire 3-days trip letting from time to time some ray of sun. We were not discouraged to walk around Ghent. 

Our hotel was near a "bakkerij" or bakery (photo 8 counting from up to down and right to left), Himschoot op de "Groentenmarkt" or vegetables market. This neighbourhood is the bakers district since 17th century. In front of the bakery, there was a stall selling "Gentse neus" (litteraly nose from Ghent), also called Cuberdon. It's originally a raspberry-flavored candy but you can find all flavours and colours. Next to it, Tierenteyn-Verlent, a mustard/vinegar shop dated from the beginning of 19th century. Photo 6 is a sculpture of a bird made with spoon. We had a look of the oldest part of the city (Photo 7).

The next day, we went to the "Vooruit" meaning going forward. It's the cultural centre. You pay an entrance fee and you can walk for hours in 20 000 sqm. There are simultaneously different activities around stage music, play, fashion show, etc. 

We earned a warm coffee and pastry. Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the café but the owner is very nice. He made some tiny hot chocolate for the kiddies, just to taste. 

A friend of mine told me about a new place : great design, quick, easy for the kiddies and every kids looove meatballs (here). You choose between different flavoured meatballs (I took the spinach one) + stoemp (=smashed potatoes with vegetables and herbs) or salad + sauce. It's correct and copious food. Take-out is possible. I drank a lemonade. 

We were all stuffed. We were surprised by the cold when we strolled our way back to the hotel. I felt so in peace, people walking without talking (even our kiddos), the reflection of the houses/lights on the water, etc. There were a lot of people in the streets, yet there was a calming silence. 

The last day, we visited Gravensteen, a castle from the Middles Ages. Inside, there's a display room with all sorts of knives and also a torture room. It made Little Mowgli felt like playing the harp (Photo 5).  No connection.

Van Eycks' panel painting, Het Lam Gods. 2 panels of the painting got stolen in 1934, 1 panel has been returned but 1 still missing.

We went to the STA°M or stadsmuseum, a museum about the city of Ghent. On 1st floor, several reproduction of the major historical t of Ghent made with Lego. 

This is our input in the urbanism of Ghent.

We had a late brunch beginning with a Roomer, a homemade drink in Ghent. It's made of "vlierbloesem", a flower plant with 14,9% alcohol and served ice cold. Then, we improvised a brunch at the hotel.

Among the goodies, 4 "patisseries" from Joost Arijs. Delicious!! My favorite is the 1st picture on the right side. A fab combination between sweet/acid from the mousse and yuzu. 

A last treat before going back home. A hot chocolate (here).

Bye bye Ghent. We're sure coming back next year.