Do you know Ghent, in Belgium? I suspect that if you have been to Europe you haven’t been to Ghent! Yet it is a beautiful city. I love Belgium, so close from Paris, yet so different!
On Friday, I met my Dutch friend Cora near Ghent at a Flower Show called Beervelde that is taking place this weekend. I’ll have to write a separate blog about that later this week... it was enchanting!
We spent the night in Ghent, and yesterday we went for a lovely walk around the city before heading back our separate ways – Cora to her house near The Haag, Netherlands, and me to mine near Paris, France!
Our walk in Ghent started with the Holy Corner. Built in 1234, it is one of the city’s three ‘beguinages’ (an architectural complex or area where single women or widows used to live, under the protection of the Catholic church). You will find these areas in most Belgian cities I think. I love the one in Bruges.
Some details from the Beguinage...
(This was a door knob! isn't it beautiful?)
I found the beguinage especially atmospheric. But what we saw of Ghent afterwards was very charming too! And although it was very grey, it only rained a little.
Typical from that part of Europe, there were many canals...
(A picture with Cora)
... and many bikes too! Well, by French standards, Cora being Dutch thought there were hardly any!!! :) For me there were just enough to feel lovely and not enough to be terrified of all the bikes like in Amsterdam, hahaha.
The houses were so beautiful! You find similar styles in Northern France, all over Belgium and in the Netherlands too.
We both really loved the 2012 Market Hall too...
I found this picture of it by night on the Internet, I think it is striking! (It is taken from the other way, as on this one you can see the Town Hall too.)
And of course there were many lovely shops and cafés of all sorts!
Cora bought some Belgian chocolates (only black please!) for her family and I bought some earrings for a friend and several plants for my home (much cheaper than in Paris and sometimes very different!).
I realise that most of the time it is the details that I love in cities... I mean the buildings have to be gorgeous but if there are no interesting details, it doesn’t really affect me deeply. Well, Ghent had it all! Especially, it was ‘real’ – you know, not so perfect that you feel there is no ‘real’ life.
So, what do you think? Did you like Ghent? :)
I hope you did and will want to discover a bit of Belgium if you ever visit Europe. Thank you for reading! Have a great week!