Blogs from Gent, East Flanders, Belgium, Europe


Europe » Belgium » East Flanders » Gent July 18th 2023

We left Roubaix just after 8am. It's good to get away early in the cool morning air. It's only a short ride and we're on the canal that will take us most of the way to Gent in Belgium. The canal path is excellent (mostly). It's a flat days riding although it's at out preferred limit of 75kms for the day. We make good time covering 50kms by lunch time. We're carrying our food with us today, so no need to find shops to stop at. It makes the travelling a lot more efficient. Lot's of barges are travelling along the canal. The really are very large. The canal has drawbridges which swing up to let the barges through. There's a mixture of farm land, private houses and a bit of commercial property that line the ... read more
Canal Bike Path
A lock on the canal

Europe » Belgium » East Flanders » Gent April 25th 2023

Dawn found Monarch Empress waiting to transit the Nieuwe Sluis Terneuzen and then follow the Ghent–Terneuzen Canal twenty miles (32 km) down to the city. Arrival in Gent was through its Dampoort. The long canal terminating at Achterdok was again lined with all manner of industrial wharves: coal, sand, and gravel; scrap metal; pipes and petrochemicals. Good arriving by ocean vessels are transloaded to river barges and vice-versa. As the dock was a bit of a ways from the city center, a coach transferred the city tour group closer to downtown. (Other passengers elected to visit Bruges, where we had been in 2014.) The drop-off point was near St. Jacob’s Church. From here the local guide led us to the Vridagmarkt (Friday Market) square surrounded by guildhouses. A market continues to be held here on Fridays. ... read more

Europe » Belgium » East Flanders » Gent February 26th 2022 read more

Europe » Belgium » East Flanders » Gent February 20th 2022 read more

Europe » Belgium » East Flanders » Gent February 1st 2022

Here we are, the last blog of our little European trip to Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg. January in Italy is truly beautiful. But you may wonder why we came to Belgium in January in the middle of a covid surge. Well, beside seeing many friends, I had to apply for a long term visa for our next stop. The only place I could do so is actually in Belgium as I'm carrying a Belgian passport. That's one of the trick when you are constantly on the road, getting a visa for some country just can mean a compulsory trip back to your place of citizenship. Event was slightly stressful due to the amount of paperwork. But job done, we dropped the documents early January, we just had to wait for the full two weeks to get ... read more
Merveilleurx, a speciality from the region of Flanders
Not many can claim to have this place, Adoration of the Mystic Lamb in St Bavon
Castle of the counts...

Europe » Belgium » East Flanders » Gent September 5th 2021

The Castle of the Counts owes its existence to the Counts of Flanders. In the ninth century, Count Baldwin II built fortifications at all strategic places in his realm to protect himself from attacks from outside. His son, Arnulf I, continued with this work and built a fortress in Ghent at the confluence of the Rivers Leie and Scheldt on the site of the present Castle of the Counts. As well as being a law court, the Castle of the Counts was also a prison. The semi-underground cells which it housed were damp and draughty and very cold, particularly in winter. The underground dungeons were the most feared, as, of course, was the torture. Although the legal procedure for torture in the early Middle Ages died a quiet death, it was reintroduced at the time of ... read more

Europe » Belgium » East Flanders » Gent June 28th 2021

In Celtic times, Ghent was known as “Ganda” meaning confluence or river mouth. The name makes sense as Ghent was located at the confluence of the rivers Lys (Leie) and Scheldt with the River Kale or Dune to the North; right in the corner between the loamy and silty fertile farmland to the west, and the sandy moors and dense forests to the north and east. While in the south-west, a marshy riverine landscape crisscrossed by rivers, ditches, canals, and other waterways was suited to the cultivation of grain, the sandy moors came to offer a favourable pastoral landscape after the reclamation 1000 – 1300. Ghent was powerful, well-organized in its wealthy trade guilds, and virtually independent until 1584. Within its walls was signed the Pacification of Ghent (1576), an attempt to unite the Lowlands provinces ... read more

Europe » Belgium » East Flanders » Gent March 14th 2020

Une fois n'est pas coutume.... En ces temps où les nouvelles ne nous font pas trop sourire... autant visiter de beaux endroits (même si c'était le hasard...) et se dire qu'il existe de belles villes près de chez nous. Ce 12 mars nous étions invités à déjeuner en Belgique chez des amis et comme une exposition Van Eyck était d'actualité à Gand... nous nous sommes dit qu'un petit détour de ce côté du pays ne nous ferait pas de tort... Evidemment vendredi 13 a tout changé dans nos projets... Nous étions prêts à partir aux Beaux Arts de Gand quand nous recevons un mail nous prévenant de la fermeture du musée... Notre exposition sera donc remise à une autre date... Jour noir pour la Belgique... le Coronavirus va nous faire changer de vie... On ira plus ... read more
Le Korenmarkt et le batiment de la Poste
Le Beffroi

Europe » Belgium » East Flanders » Gent September 21st 2019

Went to transfer some photos onto my iPad and realised that I left the SD reader in my camera bag in Luxembourg. Can’t blame the blog site this time; it’s my fault. I’ll keep this brief - something I don’t seem to grasp - and head out to take a few with my phone. The pictures tell the Gent, or Ghent story, but I’ll give it a go. I’ve been to Bruges before, but as it is becoming so popular that the local government wants to control the amount of buses that visit on day trips, we decided Ghent was closer and a good alternative. We left Luxembourg at 9am and the road to Ghent is a pretty boring highway, with little to see except the tops of small villages, wind turbines, and forests that look ... read more
The Next Door Garden
Old Ghent Fish Market.
The Gravensteins, The 11th Century Castle

Europe » Belgium » East Flanders » Gent July 22nd 2019

Today we have booked a train ride to Ghent in Belgium. We both think that it feels really special to be able to take a day trip to another country, which is a real novelty for us. It might be possible to do this from Melbourne, but you’d only get to spend much time in the other country during daylight hours if you happened to pick New Zealand, or possibly Papua New Guinea, and you’d still spend most of the day travelling. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who’s done this. I suppose you might contemplate going to Papua New Guinea for the day, if for no other reason than to avoid having to stay there overnight. Papua New Guinea is apparently a very dangerous place. I don’t sense from anything we've read that Belgium's ... read more
Antwerp station

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