I will admit I was a bad tourist while I was in Belgium. I did two nights in Bruges. I headed to Ghent and had some ‘issues’ at the train station. Some guy sort of aggressively walked at me and it freaked me out. So instead of going out and exploring I went to the grocery store and stayed in. The next day I got a late start but made it into Ghent. The last day I ended up having a bit of a train/planning fiasco and didn’t get out either. I had every intention of seeing Antwerp but someone said the town is under construction and not worth seeing. I wanted to see Brussels but heard such horrible things about crime and the train station that I decided to pass. I was going to go to the beach instead but it ended up being too rainy. I know it’s bad to kind of wimp out on vacation and judge a city based on the train station but I am solo traveler trying to do this trip without any issues. So far, with only 2.5 days left, I haven’t had any issues except a 2 hours of extra travel because a tree fell on the train tracks. For me the time spent going home early (I’ve done it three nights of 17 I will be gone) is worth or equal to the extra time I might have spent dealing with loss/police if I had theft. Plus I know when I go home I will not want to work on these photos and posts. I will be ready to jump into fall/winter in Montana. One night I went to bed early because I was getting a sore throat. Getting sick on vacation is not ideal either! Anyways after all of that… here is Ghent, which I quite enjoyed and would recommend! PS sometimes traveling you just need a mental health night - see below. I went to the store, made a wonderful cheese plate, and took a bath. My aching body and tired feet needed it!
Where: Ghent, Belgium
When: September 2019
Ghent actually surprised me as a very cute little town. I am part of a travel group and all of the locals say screw every where else (except maybe Bruges!) and hit up Ghent for 2 days. I definitely could have spent more time there and was a little sad as I got a late start on the day. The public transport is easy enough (I am finally getting a hang of buses and trams… that don’t have any announcements in English - thank God for Google maps. It shows each stop and the times, etc, PERFECTLY!). It’s been a God send and without it I would have probably taken cabs and wracked up quite the bill.
It actually ended up being quite rainy while I was there. Protip most of the Airbnbs I stayed in had umbrellas. Although you don’t want to carry one around I would recommend it. I try to carry as little as possible but even with a rain jacket I was quite wet. Umbrellas are awesome! Just don’t lose it. I went to a cafe outside and sat on the covered patio and drank a beer until the rain stopped. Then I continued on and wandered around town.
I wandered into a pizza place and ordered a pizza. Luckily the guy spoke English and had an English menu. It’s not a problem, I can still order in Dutch or German, but sometimes I get a mystery ingredient. Haha. The English is nice for weird words or words that don’t sound like an English or Latin equivalent. They guy said most people share it with others but I’m alone… thanks bro. I know I don’t have friends! Jk! Again I had a pizza box I had to carry around but that’s okay. The pizza was amazing and I love leftovers. For being in, well not Italy, I ate a lot of pizza. But my cousin said what I ate isn’t necessarily pizza (not this one but the first one and the one I ate later in Germany). Regardless I love pizza and eat it at home quite often. Cauliflower crust and pesto for the win.
Honestly, besides one very obvious because it was in the middle of a popular square place, every where that I have eaten has been delish! I usually walk around until I find a place I want to try then quickly look them up on Google to make sure they have a 4 star rating or more. I did have a list of places I wanted to go but 1) I wasn’t feeling that type of food when the time came or 2) that food was really far from where I was and I would need to make a special trip. I tried to look for places that were busy which I think is a good sign! I would have liked to do more trendy, vegetarian places, I only did one, but oh well. Food is food and I’m a darn good cook so I’ll just cook more when I get home.
One of my favorite parts of Ghent was the tour of The Castle of the Counts. It was an audio-tour which is never as good BUT the audio was SO FUNNY! No joke he talked about all these super inappropriate things. I would do it again just to listen to it. HIGHLY recommend!
As you can see from the countless photos Ghent is BEAUTIFUL. There is a lot to do and I would highly recommend you visit! :)