Travelled : 52 kilometres from Brugge to Ghent, Belgium. 2016
Visited : Ghent
Stayed : On the edge of the historic centrum (Portus Granda District) €11 per 24 hours, no service but a handy spot. N51.05315 E.03.73002. An OurTour spot.
It’s a leasurely start as usual in campercar world. After a couple of days in a €25 a day Aire, we eventually arise and service the Hymer and give it a vacuum. We have had everything in the Hymer on charge and it’s all go. Our target for today is Ghent. Not that visiting Ghent ticked off something on the bucket list, but that an Australian we met living in Ghent highly recommended it. Good enough for us and it’s less than an hour away.
There are no Aires in Ghent, but we find the co-ordinates for a little parking spot on the edge of the old town in the ‘OurTour’ database. It’s €11 for 24 hours and will do us nicely.
The NTGent, Ghent’s municipal theatre.
The Belfort circa 14th century. Belfries were built as a symbol of a towns growth and importance. They also served to warn the inhabitants of danger.
St. Bavo’s Cathedral, built over a 10th century church. The Cathedral was completed in 1559.
Inside St. Bavo’s Cathedral.
Crossing the Leie, in the morning it was very quiet. Come the late afternoon the banks fill with pop-up bars and cafes.
Gravensteen Museum and the Castle of the Counts. Dating back to the 12th century, it has been home to the Flemish Counts, a mental asylum and a cotton mill.
Several suites of armor but no jousting sticks !
After a little lunch and afternoon rest we head back into the old town (historic centrum) for some more adventures. One of those was climbing to the belfry of the Belfort. 250 odd steps later and it’s a wonderful view. Pam has a real thing about spiral staircases, cannot get enough.
In Northern France and Flanders the towers or belfries have carillon bells. In other words rather than sound the hours, they play a tune on the bells. This huge copper and brass timing cylinder (cast in 1659) sets the hammers off every 15 minutes.
View from the top of the Belfort, looking back at the Cathedral in this photo.
The Leie River again, now in the early evening (it doesn’t get dark till after 10pm). As you can see everyone is out walking or sitting in the bars. Belgium is the beer capital. Stop at any bar and there is a choice of 20 beers. You can get a choice of three wines, red, white or rose (most likely from a plastic bottle according to Pam).
This odd little building has a Thai Restuarant, reminiscing our Thong-U-Rai we gave it a go. It was very good. We haven’t eaten out in a proper Restuarant since Rick Stein’s back in Cornwall, it was worth the wait.