Then...I went to Ghent

Trip Start Jan 27, 2013
Trip End Jul 15, 2013

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Flag of Belgium  , East Flanders,
Sunday, February 24, 2013

I LOVED Ghent. Although we were there on Sunday which sucked because everything was closed...hence the reason I came home with no Belgian chocolate. This is what I get for being cheap and waiting till the last minute in hopes of a better deal. I really wanted to send my parents some Easter chocolate eggs too but there was so many options I couldn't decide. Then the last day in Belgium everything was closed. We also wanted to see the flea market but it was gone, probably because it was snowing so that was sad too. I wanted to get one of the fancy beer glasses to take home as a souvenir. Despite these disappointments it was still a great day.  The city was beautiful, huge churches, towers and castles everywhere!

We stopped to get food but I wasn't hungry. I've never on the same page as the group, when I want to run around they want to sit down. So one of the girls and I went on a little adventure, the streets were deserted but all the architecture is amazing to see. We met back up with everyone and decided to look in the famous churches and museums, most were closed but the bell tower was open so we paid to climb to the top. Since I'm terrified of heights climbing 366 steps in a narrow staircase to stand on a very small ledge wasn't very fun and I was afraid to take pictures of the view. But on the way up each floor was a museum and had interesting facts about the old bells and statues of Ghent. Then we looked in a beautiful church, I couldn't believe how big it was but we weren't allowed to take pictures.

Now it was snack time after all that tower climbing and we checked out a cafe that was recommended in one of my books called Mokabon. It's mainly a local place and was down a little alley off the main center. It was so crowded we had to wait for a table and even then only 3 of us could fit so the group split up again. Kim got a waffle, Dana got an Irish coffee and I got a huge ice cream sundae! It was the first time I've had ice
cream in Europe and it was delicious. I had 3 scoops-chocolate, mocha, and
strawberry (that was the smallest size they offered and for only 3E!). The mocha was basically coffee and it's funny they called it
mokka because they don't make the actual coffee drink here. I've asked
and they don't even know what it is. I also haven't seen strawberry ice cream in Amsterdam so that was a surprise too. It went by a very different name though, I had to ask the waitress what each flavor was. We relaxed here for a while just enjoying our time in Belgium.  Next we sought out one of the castles (it was pretty easy to find). We just turned the corner and bam! there was a huge castle in the middle of the town. Half of our group had to head home now so they left for the train station. We decided to pay to tour the castle and see the torture museum, it was very creepy. They had the real blade from a replica of the gullotine used hundreds of years ago. And all the different instruments of torture with pictures and explanations of how to use them.

After our quick explorations of Ghent and a long weekend, everyone was ready to head back home. But I had heard about a cafe called "Simon says" that's suppose to have the best carrot cake, so I made everyone go with me before heading home.  Once we found the place, it was already packed and they told us the famous cake was sold out! Apparently it sells out within 10 minutes everyday because it is that good. Maybe I can go back someday and get my chocolate and cake. Luckily I had that cupcake in Brugge the day before. I have also heard the nightlife in Ghent is amazing because it is all student run so hopefully I can spend more time there in the future.

We got a quick dinner at the train station, it was surprisingly cheap and good. I had a chicken doner which I think is a form of shawarma (its very big in Amsterdam but I haven't tried it yet). The train ride home took 4 and a half hours and we had to transfer twice. There was no wifi and it was pretty cold so I was overjoyed to finally crawl into my warm bed that night.

Overall it was an amazing trip in Belgium and I would love to go back soon!
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Toni on

love all the foodie talk! keep it up. Hope you get to see all the tulip fields in the pictures. I love to live vicariously.

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