Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My Belgian Birthday! Part five

Since we were sort of in the area, Bill and I decided to visit Ghent (or Gent) on Monday.  Ghent is a bit further away from Alveringem than Bruges is, but I had heard it's a beautiful city.  Another frequently recommended Belgian city is Antwerp, but that wasn't convenient to us on this trip.

Bill went to town again for more croissants.  The lady who sold him the croissants asked, "English?"  Bill said yes.  So she laughed and said, "Ta ta!"  We both had a laugh over that-- since it's kind of an antiquated Britishism.  I guess it would be hard to tell where an English speaker is from if it's not your native tongue.  Like, I would have trouble telling Schwabish from Bavarian.  It was pretty funny just the same.




We said good morning to our animal companions before we left.  The bunny came back, as did the cows and chickens.

Marianne told us that they were doing some extensive roadwork in Ghent.  That turned out to be true.  Bill was a bit white knuckled as he searched for a parking garage.  Ignoring my gasp and warning of "Look out!", he managed to drive over a couple of... well, I don't know what they were, but he wasn't supposed to drive over them.  He was focused on the construction, while I was focused on the things on the road that he was supposed to drive around as opposed to over.

Once again, we were pleased by the parking garage, which was very clean and offered relatively a pleasant unisex bathroom.  This one was free and came with its own mood music.  In our case, it was a new song by Phil Collins.


The parking garage in Ghent even had its own Breathalyzer!  First time I've ever seen one of these.  I think it's very progressive.


Our first stop was in a cathedral in Ghent, which turned out to be even more beautiful than the one in Bruges.  We walked through the crypt and checked out the artifacts as well as the ornate interior.  Once again, Bill was moved to tears.  Bill frequently gets overcome by beautiful art or places.  With me, it's music.  Had a choir been singing, I probably would have been bawling like I was in Haarlem two years ago.

Our next stop was a bank.  One snag we hit on this trip was USAA erroneously thinking Bill's debit card was compromised by fraud.  He managed to make a purchase at Johnny Rocket's at Ramstein.  Then the card quit working.  He had to call USAA to straighten it out.  While we were Ghent, he needed to replenish his cash.  For some reason, we had a hard time finding a bank.  But while we were searching, I was able to get some nice photos.

Ghent is actually a very beautiful town, though perhaps not as quaint as Bruges is.  It was also pretty crowded, but not as obnoxiously so as Bruges was.


I think this was once the post office, but it now appears to be a mall.






I didn't take a lot of photos in the Ghent cathedral, but I had to get one of the choir loft.  On the other side, there was identical seating.  That must be quite a choir!





American themed clothing store.  



Bill and I thought it was funny that the Marriott was offering "High Wine"... especially since it's historically tied to a high profile Mormon family.


We stopped for lunch at a little restaurant called de Grill.  There was a lot of outdoor seating under umbrellas and they were offering an attractive special involving steaks.  Bill and I went for seafood, though.



And beer...  I had a tripel and Bill had an amber by Gentse.  Again, it was good enough that we bought some to bring back to Germany with us.


We watched people in boats passing... many of them had rainbow colored parasols.  Actually, both Bruges and Ghent appeared to be very LBGT friendly.


I had a fish brouchette, which included salmon, shrimp, and whitefish.  It was excellent!  I was especially pleased by the salmon, which was perfectly cooked.  And of course, there was a trough of fries and Bearnaise sauce.


Bill had croquettes made with shrimp and cheese.  He said it was good that I didn't order the croquettes because the cheese was pretty strong.  He loves his strong cheeses.  


I had a Gentse Gruut Inferno for dessert.  I think it annoyed the waiter, who was clearly in a hurry to shut down. 


He closed the unused tables at 1:45pm and was happy to bring out the check for us.  Bill says lunch was just under fifty euros.





I could have spent a little more time in Ghent.  I'd like to go back sometime without the dogs and walk around for awhile.


Ubiquitous Coca-Cola!

We stopped at the store again on Monday to stock up for our drive back to Germany.  We stocked up on beer, cheese, and hair products.  After another low key evening at our rural hideaway, we were well-rested for the very long drive back to Stuttgart.

Part six!


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