When I was planning our trip to Belgium almost everyone I spoke to recommended checking out Gent. To be perfectly honest I had never heard of it but after only finding a ‘hipster’ bar to hang out in Brussels I was just excited to be moving on.
Day four and we achieved booking Camp Blaarmeesen, this was the largest of the sites we had booked and was more like a holiday park than the other more rural sites we had stayed at. Though it was a busy resort the check-in was well organised and stress free.
Heading into to town on a busy local bus along the canals and narrow streets I could already see that Gent was pretty. This was taken to the next level when we hopped off and turned the corner onto a cobbled bridge for out first real glimpse of what is often described as ‘Medieval Manhattan’.
Wandering around, yet again with zero plans, we took in the mixture of many modern shops and typically European pavement cafés. Unlike Bruges, here the streets were quiet enough be able to take in the beauty of this extraordinarily preserved Flemish town.
Stopping off for a beer at De Alchemist, looking onto the Gravensteen castle, we tried to work out a plan for the day but decided just to enjoy strolling the streets as we had been doing all morning.
This turned out be be the perfect strategy, Gent was a rabbit hole filled with little unexpected delights. Like the antiques showroom that we accidentally stumbled across which had a wonderful array of items from vintage TV’s, games and grand furniture that would not look out of place in one of the Game of Thrones castles.
My favourite place was a little alley just off the rest of the pristine streets which was covered in a whole variety of street art. Unlike the middle aged couple in front of us, I was enchanted by the vibrant colours.
Being in Belgium there was no shortage of bars and as the rain began to pour down we hid out in the basement of ‘t Gouden Mandeken before heading for some dinner.
The city is not only picturesque by day but due to its award winning lighting is the perfect postcard image as the sun sets, too.
By the morning the wet weather had cleared and blue skies had returned to give us the perfect setting to take a final stroll around town and to pop into Koffie, a modern little café in the heart of Ghent, for our last waffle before heading back across the channel.