Monday, March 3, 2014

Ghent

Truth is, no one really knows how to spell Ghent, I saw Ghent, Ghant, Gent, Gand, Gante and a few others.  Because of this, I was never sure if I was saying the name of the city correctly, but I was not too concerned about that because no one seem to pronounce it in a consistent way.
 Transportation between the city center and main train station is good, but at my first try I took the wrong tram and ended up outside the area I wanted to be.  I had to hop off the tram and walk about 20 minutes back to the city center.
 There are a few castles in the city, this one is most near the city center, it's called the Gravensteen Castle.
 View from the top of the castle looks like a postcard, but it's lots of stairs to get up here.
 Looking down on the Infokantoor tourism center, again looks like a postcard.
 Couple of medieval flags on the roof of the castle.
 The interior of the castle is amazing too, very well preserved.
 If we had old-school castles in the US this would not be allowed.  The walking path around the inside wall of the had a wall on one side and a drop on the other.  US would need some sort of rail around that walking path.
 The center area of Ghent is full of churches, many under renovation.
 This river runs though central Ghent, looking north.
 So when in Belgium you must try Belgium waffles.
 The tour guide in Brussels explained that the key to good waffles is that they cost less than 4 euro's and is made from balls of dough that you see just before they are placed in the waffle iron.
 I did not see balls of dough until I got to Ghent and I confirmed that these are great.  I got a plane waffle, you can also get a tourist waffle that has almost everything imaginable on top of it.  I was not able to take a photo of the finished waffle, I was distracted.
 Another treat unique to Ghent is Cuberdon.  At first I thought these little purple things were Japanese style sweet potato and when I got a bag of them I expected that.
 But it turns out it raspberry flavored gum arabic.  A little surprised at first but very good, I ate a whole bag in about 10 minutes.
 Ghent Sint-Pieters Station, about 1 hour by rail from Brussels.