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Published: April 24th 2016
We booked a very early train this morning, so we were out of the hotel by 8am
. The train station was only 1 block away. We had enough time for a posh tea service on a silver tray in the station before boarding our train to Ghent. On the train, we discovered that dogs rule in this area of Europe. The sweetest Dalmatian boarded the train and was quite content to ride in the aisle and get pets from other passengers. I didn't want to stalk him, but took a quick snap with my phone for proof! The train took us thru Brussels where we had a quick change of trains. Upon arriving in Ghent, we immediately knew we were in a college town. We found a Starbucks in the train station and the biggest bike parking square I have ever seen. All of the transport in Ghent is via trams and with the help of a local, we boarded a tram headed for our hotel. The hotel location was ideal, as it was in one of the main squares in town. We dumped our cases and set off to explore the town. My moms affliction was getting worse, so we
selected a soup place for lunch. The Souper lounge had a choice of 4 soups and then you could opt to add in meatballs, veggies, cheese, and croutons. The bowls were enormous and we both ate for $10. I had asparagus and my mom selected tomato. It was just what the doctor ordered and mom was feeling better after some nourishment. We then wandered around and quickly fell in love with the town, especially its large squares and meandering canals. The next stop on the agenda was the Ghent design museum where they had an exhibit on bikes. Bikes are the main mode of transportation in town and this exhibit showed us the wide variety of bikes including bikes made of wood, bikes with baskets for children and bikes you wear like a harness. We also enjoyed the modern art installation set in this very traditional manor house. After the museum, we decided to check out how the royals lived and went to Gravensteen castle aka The castle of the counts. This castle is in remarkable shape but is mostly empty inside. It does have a small museum of torture housed inside. We were able to get a wonderful view
from the top and walk the castle walls. At this point, ms.snufflelupagus needed a nap, so we had a quick lie down before dinner. Amadeus restaurant is a local favorite for spareribs, so we made the quick walk there for dinner as I hummed rock me Amadeus. The restaurant felt like a 1920's saloon and the food was great. Ghent is a very sleepy town on Sunday evenings so we decided to turn in early. We turned on the TV to find a hilarious game show in Flemish that reminded us of El Cubo in Spain.
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