“Gand” in French or “Ghent” in Dutch: February 25th, 2017
We left home early morning to catch the train to Gand! A beautiful little town with many canals. It’s nicknamed “The Venice of the North” alike Saint-Petersburg) It took us an hour to arrive to Gand and the return ticket was only 15 euros per person as it was weekend fare. As soon as we arrived we rushed to the city center to “Simon’s” a very popular organic, coffee shop in which they serve large brunches (meals that include breakfast + lunch) but you absolutely need to order in advance, as the place is very tiny and there’s very high demand! From the station, we walked 45 min straight and we arrive just on time at the opening! After ordering, the waiter brought large portions of local cheese, ham, salad, we had fresh orange juice, large cappuccinos, teas, hard-boiled eggs, toasted bread unlimited with jams, honey, sour cream… for 20 euros/person it was absolutely worth it! Straight after we visited “The Count Flanders Castle” a fortress within the Historical Center. We went up and down the stairs, we had a beautiful view over the city center, we visited the torture room, the jail, the banquet hall, I guess it was nice to be a noble, owning a castle in whose times) it was only 8 euros and it was worth seeing) we walked alongside the canal, there were many nice little restaurants and traditional taverns, I guess it’s very nice during summer time! The town is about 255,000 people and it is supposed to be the second largest in Belgium but it really feels like a medieval town, once you’re walking in the city center. We learned many thing about Gand: It was very rich during medial times thanks to “Tapisserie and linens” trade and many gothic cathedrals were built because the city was very close the limestone sites. We visited indeed many amazing gothic cathedrals and we walked on top of a 50-meters high Beffroy and there the panorama was something to remember! We came back to Brussels at about 19:00 and tomorrow we are going to visit the famous city of “Bruges”.