Sunday, 22 July 2012

Trip report Ghent

Dear reader,

On July 5th I went to Gent for three days with my parents and fiancee. We stayed in the hotel Cours St. Georges, which is located directly in the city center. We went there by train (which took us about 3.5 hours, which is doable).

We bought a Museum Pass as this will grant you access to multiple museums and is also a three-day public transport ticket. The Museum Pass is really quite cheap (20,- euro's). However, if your hotel is located in the city center, you are better off just buying a one way ticket for the tram, as everything is within walking distance. 

After a long trip we finally arrived at the hotel, which had bucket loads of character! The rooms were really spacious and had a luxurious feel to them, but that was to be expected as they do not come cheap. (And yes, I totally forgot to take a picture of it! T_T Bad me! Bad me!) The only thing that made us a little worried were the squeaky floorboards... But I guess that just falls under the category character hahah. 
Just a suggestion: if you wish to stay in this hotel, ask for a room at the back. These are very well isolated and you will not have the noise from the streets. According to my parents who had a room facing the street it could be rather loud at night.

After having rested for a little bit we immediately set out to explore the city. We walked to the oldest part of the city center, named Patershol. On my way there I came across some really cute shops, which sell all types of unique clothing. So if you want to go shopping, I suggest you pay that area a visit. There are also lots of restaurants in that area. I could highly recommend the restaurant that we dined at that day: Le Petit Restaurant. The food is delicious (top notch!), the prices are very reasonable (18,50 for a mouth watering Tournedo with béarnaise sauce) and the service was wonderful as well. For some information please see this website: (it's in Dutch though).

On our second day we decided to go to the castle which is located inside of the city named Gravensteen. It's a really beautiful castle which will give you an amazing view of the city when you climb to the top. However, if one in your company is afraid of heights, this is not the place to be, cause you are up very, very high. 

Side view of the castle. 

The castle was under attack....

.... so these little guys bravely defended it! :P

 The four towers of Ghent!

Afterwards we walked down the city center and looked at some of the shops. The stores in the main street aren't very spectacular. It really reminded me of the Kalverstraat, so we mostly steered clear of that. After having eaten in a restaurant literally around the corner of the hotel (where they have, amongst others, an all you can eat sparerib buffet) we decided to try the 'Gent at night' tour. This really was a bit of a let down... The main reason being that too many of the buildings in the city were lighted. So the ones that were really special and might have been rather spectacular, did not stand out at all.

The next day, which was also our last day, we did some last minute shopping and souvenir hunting. During the afternoon we sat down at the cutest little tearoom close to the castle of Gravensteen where they sold all types of cakes and cupcakes. They looked absolutely amazing!

The taste, however, was a whole different ballgame. I do not know what they did with my cupcake, but it tasted more sugary than pure sugar. In other words: it was simply disgusting. If you would like to try out eating in such a tearoom I would advise you to wait until you go on a trip to England. I really would recommend the one in Portobello road in London. It looks just as pretty as the one in Ghent, but the cakes are actually fit for human consumption.

Afterwards we returned to our hotel to pick up the bags and to start our journey back towards home. Needless to say, we were exhausted when we got home. But Ghent is definitely worth a visit (though, honestly, you do not need more than three days, unless you are very much into museums... they have a lot of those).

Well that's it for now! :) I hope you enjoyed this trip report!