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April 16, 2013

A day in Gent

Flandre, France
Let's just start with another photo from the drive to Gent. Such flatness. Such cloudness. :-)

We didn't have the best weather on our day trip to Gent, but it wasn't too bad. So we're going to go back at some point. When there's some reliable sunshine and stuff.

It is a lovely place, we really liked it. Although there were quite a lot of tourists (hello, big group of Japanese tourists who almost mowed us down!), it didn't feel like that was all the city is. Unlike Brugge which felt a bit.. like a set, "come look at all the pretty old buildings". You know? Gent didn't feel like that. It felt like a vibrant city that just happens to also have some nice old buildings and stuff.

It also reminded me a bit of Denmark. Some of the buildings are similar to ones you can find in Copenhagen. And the feel of the city reminded me of the feel of Ã…rhus, my hometown; a vibrant university city which is neither too big or too small.

Korenmarkt, Gent
Korenmarkt. One of the main squares. It is quite pretty! I love all the different houses. They remind me a bit of Copenhagen...

Oud Postkantoor, Korenmarkt, Gent
The old post office in Korenmarkt. Rather grand, don't you think? It's not a post office anymore. I think it has been turned into shops.. but I don't know for sure, we didn't go inside.

Listening to music in Korenmarkt, Gent
There was a band playing in Korenmarkt, Maya's Moving Castle. Tony thought they were great, hence why he is recording them on his mobile. I just thought it was loud and really wished I'd had a pair of neon green earphones like that kid. ;-)

Sint-Niklaaskerk, Gent
Sint-Niklaaskerk, also in Korenmarkt. 

Sint-Niklaaskerk, Gent
We had no plans to go inside Sint-Niklaas, but it started raining A Lot, so we went inside to get out of the downpour. I quite like the rather stark interior. Not sure if the church is actually in use as a church. These tables had been set up for some kind of antique market. We didn't venture further in...

Corner of Graslei and Pakhuisstraat, Gent
Once the rain stopped, we walked down to one of the canals. I thought I'd take advantage of the bridge there on the left and be safe from the rain so I could do a bit of sketching. I did one sketch, but while I was doing that, Tony disappeared! He'd gone back to listen to the music. But he didn't tell me! (Or maybe he did and I was too busy drawing..)
Corner of Graslei and Pakhuisstraat, Gent
We didn't go on a boat trip, but maybe next time. You do see a place from a completely different perspective from the water...

Sint-Michielsbrug, detail Gent
Detail of that bridge..

Graslei, Gent
Looking away from the bridge, along Graslei. I drew that whitish building in the middle. I really want to go back to Gent some day. When it's sunny so I can go nuts and draw loads of those pretty buildings.

Sint-Niklaaskerk seen from Pakhuisstraat, Gent
Looking back up towards Sint-Niklaas and Korenmarkt. There were of course lots of people on bicycles in Gent. I love the green jacket that lady is wearing!

Sint-Baafsplein, Gent
The theatre in Sint-Baafsplein. And just look at that building next to it! I love that bright red! It's a very common thing to see in this area of Belgium (maybe elsewhere too?) - lots of buildings in Brugge had it as well.

Sint-Baaf, Gent

Sint-Baaf, Gent
The stained glass windows in Sint Baaf are spectacular. Go in to see those if you're in the neighbourhood!

Sint-Baaf, Gent
See? So bright and colourful. Although, the main reason I wanted to go in there wasn't the windows but because I wanted to see the Ghent Altarpiece. You're not allowed to take pictures of it, so if you want to see it, follow that link over to Wikipedia.

It is quite stunning and I'm glad I went in to see it, although it cost 4 euros and you can't get real close to it. The cathedral itself is free though, so you don't have to pay anything to see the windows. :-)

Belfort, seen from Sint-Baafsplein, Gent
Another famous landmark in Gent, the Belfry. There is supposed to be a fantastic view from the top, but both Tony and I dislike heights, so we didn't go up there. We just admired it from the safety of the ground.

And look! The sun actually did come out again for a while!

Dog in car!
As we were leaving Gent, we saw this. Crazy!

xo, Carina
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