I would love going to a different spot in Belgium every weekend. I can’t explain why, but Belgium has something. Something pretty, the atmosphere is amazing. For a country that is next to ours with very few differences, it is able to make me feel on the other side of the world. And I like Belgians. They may not be as hysterical as we are, but that is just fine. According to me, they are nice for each other. Or as it seems – but if a woman is constantly coughing in the train and a man who is three chairs away gets up, puts a cough candy in front of her and gets off the train, I find that very sweet. You know that I lost my heart already to Bruges, but last month I was in beautiful Ghent again.
Ghent is one of those cities where there’s such a fine atmosphere that you immediately have the feeling being away from home. The historic buildings have survived the bombing in World War II and are therefore they shine on all sides of the many canals. I’m here to visit a friend and together we decide to venture a dance on the outdoor festival Roots of Minimal. A day to remember, and with tired feet I let myself fall on the soft bed of the Marriot hotel. The next day, we try to find unknown streets in Ghent but we don’t succeed, because we still seem to recognize every street of our previous visit. Each street is unique, known or unknown. Ghent is an easy going city. Casual, lovely corners reflect themselves naturally. A map is not necessary, and I crumple it back in my bag. All the memories of our previous visit are coming back. Like Gent already conquered a place in our heart.
Gent is wonderful – and young at heart. It is a compact student city in an authentic jacket and this creates a positive energy. Individualistic. Artistic as well. Museums abound, and the city is rich in graffiti art. Artist Roa has unleashed his creativity on the walls in Ghent. A boat trip shows the other side of Ghent and the many vintage markets steal my heart, as well as the Design Museum. Not so much the museum itself but the current exhibition touches me. Plastic pollution. What are we doing to our beautiful Earth? We end up in the bustling centre of Ghent, while I want to take all the plastic off the ground we go around the corner and there rises Gravensteen. Just in front of us, in the middle of the city. This remains special and this time we explore the Castle from within as well. What an amazing view from the highest towers. We drink beer and enjoy Burgundian delicacies at restaurant Coeur d’Artichaut, Bel Fort and Du Progres. Time flies. Before I know it I step into the train again with a full stomach, tingling feet, a vintage vest and a head full of lovely memories.