A Travellerspoint blog

Barge Monday

Ghent to St Armand

52 km today! We biked through fields, small communities, country roads. It was great!

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A most interesting evening too... Roelie took us to an artist studio (sculptor and painter.

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And look what Ambrose found...

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I am going to post more pics when we have better wifi

Posted by Dstierne 10:56 Comments (1)

Bruges...then barge

Ambrose weathers the storm.

After a wretched afternoon and evening, Ambrose seems to be feeling better. He was experiencing extreme stomach cramps after yesterday's lunch. We didn't think it was food poisoning because Jamie ate the same meal - and Ambrose wasn't troubled by bathroom woes. I was worried that he may have appendicitis. I was also worried about how we were going to continue our journey. He was in no condition to move let alone ride a bike.

I have a suspicion... I am wondering if he was experiencing an allergic reaction. Ambrose did inquire about the presence of nuts with his order but maybe the salad dressing contained nut oil. The restaurant specialized in organic food and healthy ingredients - which often means the inclusion of special oils - especially in Europe. I bought a roll there that was laced with hazelnuts. Nuts were certainly in the kitchen.

We are packing up to bring our luggage to the barge. Ambrose is in his normal posture ;o)

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We are now aboard our barge, the Zwaan (the swan). We biked about 20 km today. Had a wonderful dinner. There are only 10 of us passengers so we should all be fast friends by the end of the week.

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Posted by Dstierne 01:24 Comments (0)

Ghent to Bruges

I love Bruges too!

An easy train ride took us away from the detritus of Ghent to beautiful Bruges. We are staying at an old hotel called the Albert 1. It's not too bad. Close to the city centre and a 15 minute walk from the train station. This will be the last day of Phase 1 of our holiday. Tomorrow, we board our barge.

We walked towards the city centre looking for a place to eat. We got caught up in a small parade commemorating Belgium Independance day.

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Found a beautiful restaurant for lunch.

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Then we walked around a bit

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- until Ambrose started to feel sick...

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Posted by Dstierne 04:21 Comments (0)

Ghent

After the party...

We wanted to get to the laundromat early so we could go on walkabout the rest of the day. Doors opened at 9 and we were waiting with our dirty clothes. We threw everything into a small machine and went for a coffee at a roaster that Jamie was interested in checking out (OR coffee).

Our walk there was disgusting. The streets were littered with plastic cups, beer cans, cigarette butts, sandwich wrappers, vomit, you name it. There was a massive brigade of garbage trucks, street sweepers, leaf (garbage) blowers, litter pickers. Yuk!

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We were going to play count-the-urinals but I wasn't up to it. The streets improved as the day went on but I believe that they are going to do it all again tonight.

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I wanted to see the Ghent Alterpiece (Jan and Herbert Van Ecyk) which is undergoing restoration (a 7 year project). I read that the restoration was taking place at Ghent's Fine Arts Museum so off we went. They were working on Phase 2 (Adoration of the Lamb) - but no pics allowed. Phase 1 (Adam and Eve and The Almighty) has been reinstalled at St Bavo Cathedral.

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The installation piece in the centre of the museum was worth a stop.

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We had a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant that was in an alley out of the fray. Jamie had carbonara which I thought it was better than many carbonara dishes that we/Calvin tried throughout Italy. Amaretto was offed at the end of the meal. Nice touch!

Bruges tomorrow!

Posted by Dstierne 07:34 Comments (0)

Maastricht to Ghent

Towers and spires...and a music festival

We are sad to leave Maastricht but we are looking forward to our new location - Ghent, Belgium (that's where daddy's from).

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The train station in Ghent isn't all that pleasant. We tried to get info for the tram to our accommodation but the lineup was too long and slow. So, much to Ambrose's dismay, we decided to make the walk. It took about 40 minutes which isn't too bad but... it was about 30 degrees Celsius. Oh well, we made it just fine. We were greeted with this site as we got closer to the historical city centre.

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The picture doesn't really do it justice but it looked kind of like a medieval Disneyland.

Then we started noticing all the stages, outdoor urinals, beer tents, portable crowd fencing...

Turns out that we are here during a week long music festival that is held annually in Ghent the third week of July. Sounds like it would be fun but I have to admit feeling disappointed about our visit coinciding with this event. The tents, stages and crowds obscure the beauty of the city.

Here is the view from our room...

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Posted by Dstierne 10:24 Comments (0)

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