Ghent – 8th April 2009
I’m sitting on the train, reminiscing about the good times that were had in Amsterdam. Its an amazing city rich with history and a lot of vibrancy coming from the place.
Its sad to leave such a place, not so much the city, but the friends that I made there. The couchsurfing community is really fun and I had a great time with it. Hopefully I can do some more. But I guess I have to get used to meeting people, connecting with them, then leaving them.
I am farewell the Netherlands today, and heading to Belgium. Not many backpackers come this way as its a small country with not a lot to do. I’m spending 5 days in total here I think. I cannot wait to go sample the local brews.
I get off at Antwerp station, and then board a train for the small town of Ghent. Ghent wasn’t initially on my plans at first but its a student city with a charming centre.
Arriving at the station, I wait for Pieter to cme and get myself and take me to his place. He’s a cool guy with some good taste in music. After dumping my bags at his apartment he takes me down to the centre of town and pick up a guide called ‘use-it’ which is aimed at young people in certain destinations. It has all the good stuff that anyone would want. If your in Belgium and certain other cities, go pick on up. Priceless information in it. He then takes me up to St Michaels Bridge, and the view over the Graslei (a cool area next to the canal where one can chill out). He has to go do a paper and sys to come back for dinner later on.
I don’t do a whole lot here in Ghent today. I cruise around the graslei for a bit and grab a cheap 2 euro big baguette that the guide pointed myself to.
I wander up to St Baafs church which has the “Adoration of The Mystic Lamb’ by Van Eyck. Its a big altar piece, however they want to charge you a few euros to see it. Though there is a copy that you can view for free up the back. Being the tight arse I am, I go to the free copy. After St Baafs, I go down to St Nikklaus Church.
Ghent is a really pretty little town. Much better than I though it was. Its got that old town charm, but with a student cultured vibe to it. Some gorgeous buildings with cobblestone streets.
I head back to Pieters and we go get some Turkish Pizza for dinner. I suprisingly enjoy it. Not what I was expecting. We go for a walk in some park thats on the outskirts of town. Only to be blocked off, as some guy stabbed another guy in a restaurant. Apparently this doesn’t happen to often in Belgium.
The park is pretty big, and its a bit overgrown. But the views of the sunset falling down off in the distance are superb.
Back at Pieters we watch a terrible show in Flemish, they are trying to find a new maria from the sound of music. Its excrutiating on the ears. It might be more lamer than Aussie Idol. Actually maybe its a tie there.
We then go for a walk down a street that has 50 bars on it. It does seem pretty quiet as its holiday time now for students. So the bars are pretty empty. We find one that instead of a wine list, they have a beer list with about 12 pages of local beer. I am in heaven. And we sample a few of the good stuff before going back to crash out.