Of the ‘big four’ Belgian cities, Ghent was my last trip (Brussels, Bruges, and Antwerp being the others). I have to say I like Ghent the best, slightly better than Bruges, probably due to there being less tourists here. It was only a 90 minute train ride from Mons, and my hotel was an old converted monastery. I had a shared bathroom/shower, but the ambiance of the hotel made up for it. I went out the first night for a bit, found a Moroccan restaurant and had a pretty good meal. Stayed in most of the first night getting some work done.
The next day the weather was great, I went out to walk the historic district of the city. This is such a beautiful city, one of those where you better keep your camera out, because you may just turn the corner and see a great shot. I saw some street musicians during the walk. A couple guitarists on the street, then a band who was playing in the main square – interesting instrumentation with a flute and an opera-style singer.
The city was bustling with people, but again not as bad as Bruges. Beautiful city at night as well, though I went back to the room pretty early the first night. The bed was much more comfortable than my bed in Mons, so I slept in till around 10:30…much needed. I spent all of the second day walking around taking in more sights, the castle (Gravensteen) is quite beautiful, and there were a couple great streets for shopping right by my hotel. My last day in town I went for a beautiful 5 mile run around the canals, and ran by an outdoor book fair…too bad all the books were in Dutch! I wanted a chill weekend, and I got one. I’m marking this down as a ‘must come back to city’, at least once every 3 months or so.