Hello, again! 🙂
Glad that you could join me for the second installment of my visit to Ghent. For the first part, check it out here.
In any case, shall we continue?
Woke up the next morning to the magnificent view from the hostel bedroom:
Went out for a walk around 9 am; I needed to go buy a few things for the rest of my vacation (e.g. a travel kit with bottles for liquid items like shampoo and soap, since I was to be taking a plane to Prague after Belgium, a winter coat for the soon-to-be freezing weather in Normandy). Found the travel kit at a home-improvement store, and a black, down jacket at Primark (now one of my favorite brands ever) for only twenty euros! Incredible! It paired well with the burgundy scarf that I had bought in Bruges for five euros. YES. 😛
Also passed by the cuberdon stand, where a man was selling, well, cuberdons. They are a type of Belgian candy, cone-shaped with a super-sweet raspberry filling inside of the shell. They are also called “noses,” since they kind of do look like them. Didn’t buy anything, but ended up trying a piece later that afternoon. Even though I love sweet things, I didn’t especially care for cuberdons- unnecessarily sweet and somewhat…artificial tasting. Like melted Laffy Taffy’s, which I don’t like either.
Christy and I explored Ghent for the rest of the morning, taking Veldstraat all the way down to the student center, where there were tons of bars and cheap eateries that make a college town what it was. Passed by Ghent University, where we saw plenty of students walking or riding their bikes to school. Biking is a serious thing in the city; we even came across a four-story parking lot…just for bikes! Mind-blown! 😀
Got some sandwiches for lunch, then wandered some more around the student quarters. Came across Saint Peter’s Church, as well as a busy center with a department store and a large library. In the afternoon, we went to a chocolaterie just across the street from our hostel, which specialized in hot chocolate and hand-crafted chocolates. It was recommended to us by our tour guide the day before, so we decided to go for it. Plus, Belgian chocolate…why not? 😉
Quite pricey, but I ordered a hot chocolate (which just tasted like regular hot chocolate- wasn’t blown away by it), as well as an eight-piece assortment of chocolates for tasting. Really tasty, with different flavors like praline, basil, honey, currant, and so forth. Total came out to almost ten euros, but I had made up my mind to splurge a bit (I had been going under budget before Ghent, so I was okay in spending a bit more for that day).
I went out later that evening to get dinner, while Christy stayed in the hostel. Originally, I planned just to get something in Korenmarkt, but decided that it was more expensive than at the student center, so I set off for the latter, which was fifteen to twenty minutes on foot. Came across a small burger/kebab place, and ordered a pita version of the mitraillette, which is this massive sandwich that contains meat and fries on top with sauce. Seriously, it’s a monster of a meal, and is sure to give you a heart attack if you were to eat it every day! 😛
Afterwards, I came across a bar on my way back to hostel that was serving kwak, which the tour guide from the day before had told us was a distinctive type of Belgian beer that is served in this interesting, narrow glass, reminiscent of a chemistry test-tube:
I admit, I am not a fan of beer, but considering that I was in Belgium (known for its beers), I felt the need to drink some. Already did in Bruges, and so the kwak was my taste of beer in Ghent. Tasted like any other beer, but I was able to experience the novelty of it all…in an interesting-looking glass, of all cases!
Super full and bloated, as well as slightly tipsy, I took the long walk back to my hostel. It was dark, but at no point did I feel unsafe. As said, Ghent is a college town, and so most locals were students, going out, partying, and otherwise minding their own business. Plus, like in Bruges, the inhabitants of Ghent were super friendly and helpful; in general, Belgian people are awesome.
Arrived back at the hostel around 9:30 pm, and called it a night. Showered, freshened up, and turned in for bed. Woke up the next day early in the morning to take my dirty clothes to the nearest laundromat, since by then I was already running out of clothes to wear for the rest of my trip. Did all of that in the morning, and later checked out of the hostel with Christy before we left for our next destination around noon: Brussels, the capital of Belgium.
Alas, our two-night stay in Ghent had ended; as mentioned, the city remains my favorite one to have visited during my holiday break. Perhaps I will return there sometime later, and explore more of the area, as well as revisit familiar places. And eat the food. Oh man, Belgian food… 😛
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s installment of my adventures in Brussels! Until then! 🙂
— The Finicky Cynic
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