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Land of Chocolate, Beer, Frites and Waffles

sunny 20 °C
View SEP Pre-Trip on seaskimmer's travel map.

That's Belgium, in case you don't know!

I met E at Gare du Nord in Brussels, and we walked to the city center and went on a free city tour. She was the first person (who I already knew) I'd seen since I got to Europe, so I felt pretty glad. Fraser, our tour guide was this awesome Scottish guy. He was funny and informative and very passionate about the history of Belgium. I learnt some cool stuff, like how for a long time Belgium had only a Duke in charge (dukedom?) so technically no kings. But there was one Duke who managed to get the kingly title because he conquered an African state, I forgot which, so yeah, there you go, King Albert!

We spent the rest of the day at a musical instruments museum and the comics museum, and tried to find some waffles. Then tried to find out accommodation which was somewhat out of the city centre. By that time we were dead beat because we'd been lugging our stuff all over the city. The previous post was all about how sucky I felt the the end of that day. Note: both museums should only be attempted if you're really into those topics otherwise don't waste your time.

The next morning we took a train down to Bruges. Walked around the city the whole day, nothing done in particular, had a waffle and frites (fries are not French. They were Belgian, and they'll give you the evil eye if you tried to call them French fries. Who caused the misnomer? The Americans, of course.). And fretted about not having accommodation for the night. Thank God someone let us in, so we got to Ghent, put our stuff down, and went out for a beer.

Nice people had given us a list of good Belgian beers, so that night we had Leffe and Karmeliet (we'd tried Duvel already). They were nice I guess. Sorry not a beer connoisseur. Had a nice long chat then went back to sleep.

The next morning we walked around Ghent. It had been such a beautiful weekend that everyone was outside hanging in the sun. Lol seriously everyone.

We want to the second hand market where E bought an oversized denim crop jacket that she couldn't stop gushing over, and I bought a super cool Women's Army iron on badge thing. Probably the British army in the second war, looks new though so hasn't actually been to battle. Oh well, still very cool.

I alsk managed to find Gravensteen castle and was super happy. I ran around the castle pretending to be a knight and pretty much had an awesome time. While E, not impressed, and having visited many castles before, hung around outside waiting. Gravensteen is cool because even though it's a small castle, it's authentically mean. It's not meant to be a pretty castle, there was a lot of torture going on in there. Gritty. I loved standing on the ramparts pretending to be firing at something outside the sort-of moat though! Yay castle ticked.

We walked around a bit more then gave up on the churches (they all look the same after a while. We should have gotten the free tour but we forgot to) and just sat in the sun at the belfry. It was gorgeous. IMAG3269.jpg

We stayed there for an hour plus, talking and ogling a nearby baby. The sun was gorgeous. I love the sun.


Went back to Brussels after that. Found our way back to our accom. Slept, no wifi that night. The next morning we went to Gare du Nord again and went our separate ways, me to wait for my 945 bus to Paris, and E to explore the city a while more until her 2 plus bus back to the UK.

In summary I spent a day each in Brussels, Bruges and Ghent. Brussels wasn't fun, maybe because we had heavy bags and also maybe cos we picked the wrong things to do. I don't think I need many museums, gonna skip most of them in the future. Bruges was small and very very pretty, but there wasn't much to do and it was really touristy. Ghent was my personal favourite, with buildings just as pretty as Bruges' but so much more subtle. There was also much more authentic life in the town, with the markets and and pubs and all.


People in Belgium are super nice. They really are, and that contributed to my enjoyment.

E and I took a while to settle into a travelling relationship. By that I mean our traveling styles, and making sure we get to places. We're both not fantastic navigators, but between her visual memory and my (purposeful) remembering of street names, we got around. After the first terrible day we always made sure to figure out where we were going to go and how to get there beforehand! When we still had wifi. It was much better after that.

Also, E was fantastic at talking to people. She speaks some french, which was super helpful in finding places. And in Ghent which speaks more Dutch, I did manage to use some of my German to get around haha. And I remembered how to say Dank u wel which I suppose is a plus point. :)

For the future, I may go to Antwerp next time. One local said that they was her favourite, with Ghent (hometown) second. So yes I will prob not go back to other places except possibly Ghent, but I may go to Antwerp if I happen to be in the region eg Holland.

Posted by seaskimmer 13:24 Archived in Belgium Tagged ghent brussels bruges

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