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Published: April 13th 2018
A busy day today, a full day tour to Ghent (where the ship is docked) and Bruges.
We woke this morning to find another ship inches from our balcony - docked in Ghent harbour, along with 6 other ships! So again, had to cross another ship to reach the shore, then buses to the city of Ghent which is some way from the harbour.
After the bus dropped us off, we started (yet another) our walking tour of Ghent, a mediaeval city in Belgium. Our tour guide was telling us that in this part of the Netherlands (Flanders) there are lots of languages. Children learn to speak Flemish, which is a spoken only language but similar to dutch. Then when they start pre-school, at 2 1/2, they learn dutch, then in primary school, French. And then English and also German!
Had a tour around the old city, churches, guildhalls, town halls - the usual! Then something they call The Sheep Pen - a modern structure used for concerts etc.
Then had a little free time, so sat and had a hot chocolate. Could hear a bell chime every 6 seconds, apparently it's an election year, and the bell has
to chime for every citizen (250,000 of them!). Also tried a local specialty - noses - or cuberdons, cone shaped and purple, hard outside, gooey in the centre and so sweet you could hardly eat it.
After an hour bus ride, we arrived in another mediaeval city in Belgium, Bruges, also known as the "Venice of the North" because of all the canals.
Again, a walking tour through the old city, usual old buildings, very beautiful and many canals. Stopped at the entrance to the Half Moon Brewery where they have built a beer pipeline (to an out of town bottling plant). Had some free time again so went on a boat ride through the canals.
Bus ride back to the ship.
The food on the ship has been superb, but tonight was a special dinner. Amawaterways are a member of La Chaine des Rotisseurs, an exclusive international culinary society and tonight's dinner was in honour of that membership. Best meal I have had so far (french onion soup better than I had in Paris). Lucky there has been a lot of walking!
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