July 26, 2019
Early Morning Train Ride
T, Macy, Moxie (aka The Littles), and I left Amsterdam for an early train ride to Ghent, Belgium. We prefer to take early train rides because it is less crowded and we get the most of our day when we arrive at our destination.
How do you Spell it?
Ghent can be spelled and said many different ways. For purposes of this blog, I am going to spell Ghent the English way. Gent is the Dutch way to spell the city’s name and Gand is the French way to spell and say the city’s name. Ghent is located in the Flanders region of Belgium. Ghent was established in 650. The majority of people from Ghent speak Flemish Dutch, which is based on a particular dialect. In Ghent, the locals speak English too! T and I had no problem communicating and we even learned a very important signal that you will read about later in this post!
What is Ghent Fest?
T, The Littles, and I attended Ghent Fest, which is a music and theatre festival. The festival lasts for ten days, but we went for a long weekend when the festival started. About 1-1.5 million people attend the festival. Ghent Fest is the third largest festival in Europe.
The audience enjoyed the music that played throughout the day on the main stage. When a group was not performing, the area was completely empty.
There were also many street performers displaying their talent too.
Many people at the festival enjoyed the rides. T and I did not partake in any of the rides, I don’t know if I could handle them without feeling nauseous.
We stayed at Carlton Hotel Gent. Two brothers manage the hotel and were very helpful. They gave us a paper map of the city and circled things that we should see and do. One of the managers said that he has attended Ghent Fest every year of his life.
Go Ghent Me a Beer!
Beer was a very important part of Ghent Fest – ha, ha! We went to a bar called De Dulle Griet. T and I had 500 beers to choose from! The menu was in alphabetical order and also had special categories, i.e., gluten free, etc. Each beer had its own special glass that it was served in. When it is not Ghent Fest, they serve beer in a special stein and you have to give them one of your shoes so that you do not steal the stein.
We also learned an important signal (as I mentioned earlier) while we enjoyed our beers. When you would like another beer, you stick out your pinkie finger for the waiter to see as you can see we did this in the picture on the right. Our waiter, who is in the back of the picture on the right, was very knowledgeable about beer.
Tom admired the outside of the bar while I found a Texas license plate inside of the bar!
We went to a bar called The Glengarry. They had a wide variety of whiskey to choose from, 800 to be exact! In the past, the building served many purposes such as a place where crypts were kept and a disco. The Glengarry felt like a cool and damp cave. I am not a whiskey fan, but did sip what the bartender suggested, just to say that I did.
Time to Eat
My favorite place that we ate at was called Cafe Rene. The croissant was delicious. A small cookie was served with my cappuccino. I did not care for the cookie, it was dry and chewy, but still a nice gesture.
We purchased assorted Belgian chocolates from Leonidas. The chocolate was delicious and contained 32 pieces of milk, dark, or white chocolate. I ate 27 pieces of chocolate and T had 5 pieces, of course this was through the course of a few days – ha, ha! When we returned to Amsterdam, T asked if there was any chocolate left and I told him that I ate it all, oops. I told him we will have to go back to Belgium for more chocolate although they do sell it in Amsterdam.
Of course I tried a Belgian waffle, it was dry and nothing great. It was not served with syrup. The hotel manager said that the Belgian waffle is more of “tourist thing” and that Brussels has better waffles.
We took a boat ride and saw the Gravensteen Castle. It was a breathtaking! We also went to Arca Café and had a more personal view of the castle.
We saw the clock tower at exactly 12:00 P.M., which was good timing- ha, ha. Bells chimed as well.
Also, we visited St. Bavo’s Abbey which contained 1,300 year old church relics.
Tom also took a video, which depicted our walk quite well…
Ghent was very dog friendly and we had a great time!
(You can use Google Translate when visiting the websites if they are not in English.)