I have a great fondness for citytrips, and up until two years ago, I used to go somewhere for a few days every once in a while. Since it’s been quite a while since the last time, and I have a huge urge to get away again. Now that really isn’t a big deal, but… There’s the dilemma thing again. On the one hand, I love to discover new cities, but on the other one, there’s Ghent, in Belgium.
Ever since the first time I went to Ghent (which was on a school trip when I was 15 years old, so quite a while ago now!), I’ve been in love with that city. For some reason, it just immediately felt like home. The old city centre’s medieval gothic architecture is just amazing, there’s art, the food is beyond delicious and the people are incredibly nice, plus they don’t speak French by default, so I guess that’s good for some bonus points! They even have a castle, just look at this:
In the years that followed that school trip, I’ve been to Ghent quite a few times, and I’ve even developed a routine there. There’s a specific place next to the river where I always go for brunch (their “sandwiches” are ridiculously elaborate), I have a few favourite restaurants, and then there’s of course the Dulle Griet café, where they serve over 250 different beers! Amongst which is, of course, my favourite:
Oh, the memories… Thinking of brunch there’s gotten me hungry! I really miss being there, especially now that moving to Ghent isn’t an option any more. At least, not for the next five years, since I’m not allowed to sell my apartment before that time. Luckily, it’s not far away at all, only 2-3 hours by train. In fact, it really doesn’t make sense how different it is, while being so close to “home”!
Another awesome aspect of Ghent are the “Gentse Feesten”, which is a mash up of folk festival, cultural event and city festival. It’s an awesome 10-day-long event (and holiday for everyone who lives Ghent, I believe) with a great atmosphere, where you can enjoy comedy, theatre and concerts amongst (a lot of) other things, and meet new people.
So that’s Ghent, in short. There’s a lot more to see there, though, so if you ever get a chance to go there, you should! But beware; not all Belgian cities are like Ghent. I’ve been to Bruges and Antwerp as well, but Bruges is ridiculously expensive and touristic (probably because of that movie, “In Bruges”), and there’s drunk Brits there everywhere, and Antwerp… Well, it’s a nice place to be, until you get hungry. I’ve been there with my boyfriend somewhere in 2010, it’s a great city for shopping and architecture, but oh, the food… Maybe we got really unlucky, but after our first dinner there, in some Argentinian grill restaurant, we decided to just stick to McDonalds for the rest of our stay.
Yeah, I really ought to go back some time soon. Screw Rome, Barcelona and Berlin! Ghent is the place to be :)
Thanks for reading!