Blogs from Gent, East Flanders, Belgium, Europe

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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
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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
Ghent
Ghent

Europe » Belgium » East Flanders » Gent April 19th 2019

Ghent After another night on the river, we woke up at the port of Ghent or Gent. I’ve seen it spelled both ways. Google prefers Gent in the English version, Ghent in Belgian. Going from the Netherlands to Belgium is a short trip but from the minute we got off the boat, there was a palpable difference that’s very hard to describe but I felt very good being in Belgium. It looked different. It sounded different. And the people were very, very, friendly though they didn’t all speak English like in the Netherlands. It seemed like the Belgians were much more like the French or Italians, loose and emotional, while the Dutch were more like the English, stiff (upper lip and the like) and proud. This is just me and those of you that have a ... read more
More Ghent
Reubens
Ghent Altarpiece

Europe » Belgium » East Flanders » Gent July 5th 2018

Hello Everyone Yesterday we got up early to go to a Museum,we were told it was one of the best in Gent,when we arrived we were told it was closedon a Wednesday!!! We made the most of the day and saw the rest of Gent,walked around the shops all to expensive for us,but it was fun. We had a meal out at night. Today we got on the tram to the train station,and hopped on the train to Oostend took about 45 mins,first stop was Brugge,then ours. We hopped on another tram that goes down the coastline towards the Netherlands 68km there and 68 km back,passing all the beach resorts and seeing some of the sea. The rest of day we walked around Oostend down to the beach,and had a fish lunch,and took photos of some ... read more
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Europe » Belgium » East Flanders » Gent July 3rd 2018

Hi Everyone We had a fabulous train holiday through Sweden and Norway,and we said our goodbyes to everyone,who were going in all directions of the globe We had a night in London,and next Day proceeded to catch the Euro star to Ghent via Brussels. Spent the afternoon at Ghent getting our washing done a5 the Laundramat in town and doing a bit of food shopping. In bed bed early as we were shattered!! Today we walked around the town,and then we had a boat trip through the canals ,they explained all about the buildings,fantastic old buildings. In the 2nd world war Ghent authorities asked the Germans when they came to leave the buildings alone ,in return the people of Ghent would house and feed the German troops,that is why there are very old buildings standing today ... read more
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Europe » Belgium » East Flanders » Gent April 12th 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 ... read more
Bridge in Ghent
Canal in Ghent
Buildings in Ghent




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