Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Day 8 - Ghent, Belgium

Day 8

Right after we left Bruges, we took the train which goes the same way towards Brussels and stopped by at Ghent.

Ghent is a town that is very similar to Bruges but less "famous" thus less tourist, which we quickly noticed. As we stepped off the train, we had trouble buying tram/bus tickets from the ticket machines. They were not in English! And most of the machines looked faulty! And they only take coins! We tried to ask the locals but they don't really know how to operate the machines as well as they usually have their own local transport card, and it doesn't help when the instructions on the machine has faded, thus they couldn't read and help us!! We ended up queuing to ask the attendant at the Information Counter but that took us almost 30 minutes waiting for just one customer in front of us. After all the hoo-haa-s, we finally managed to get our bus ticket and took a trip to canal side of Ghent.

We stopped at a little square (forget the name) and began to explore!


Ghent was indeed a more quiet town compared to Bruges. Maybe it was due to almost late afternoon when we reached, thus the huge tourist crowd has left. We fell in love with this little town immediately!

We also spotted the famous Shoe Bar that you have to give up your shoe as a deposit for your beer that serves in huge test tubes. Don't worry, they don't hang it there but merely put it in a basket and raised it to the ceiling. You can only get back the shoes when you emptied and returned the test tube glass.  

Halfway through exploring and admiring the town, we spotted a street food stall that sells escargot! Well, it was just a few Euros for one big scoop (around 30 pieces) so needless to say, MeiChi and I tried it. Although served in a paper plate, we enjoyed them so much! MeiChi actually went back for second round later, and had the whole serving for herself!

We were joking that these escargots are caught at the seller's backyard, since fine dining escargot wont be so cheap! Hahahhaa

Of course, we had to stop at Graslei and Korenlei for the picturesque view of Ghent. We even decided to have dinner along the beautiful view of Ghent.

We passed by Sint-Michielsbrug, and walked up the bridge.

And also walked passed Sint-Niklaaskerk, but didnt manage to enter the gothic church as it was already late evening.

Another thing beautiful experience was we managed to be there during sunset and it was a lovely sight to see a cultural place like this slowly turned dark.  
Het Belfort van Gent - highest belltower in Belgium
Rare photo of two of us! Thank you stranger for volunteering to help us to take this photo!

Sint-Baafskathedraal Gent


We left the place by taking the tram, which again was another problem because the one and only ticket machine near to the tram stop was a little faulty (the tourist queuing in front of us lost his coin in the machine without getting a ticket), and there were no counter for us to buy from. I can't remember if MeiChi and I ended up got lucky and got our tickets from the faulty machine, or if we risked taking the ride without ticket, but we managed to get to the train station and took our ride back to Brussels!  

And that was our last ride using our Rail Pass! All 10 slots fully utilized!  

I think in total we only managed to spend around 4-5 hours in Ghent, but it was still worth a visit! No regrets!


***to be continued



Read all about :
Day 1 & 2 in London - here.
Day 3,4 & 5 in London - here.
Day 6 in Antwerp - here.
Day 7 in Brussels - here.
Day 8 in Bruges - here.

Day 9 & 10 in London - coming soon.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Day 8 - Bruges, Belgium

Day 8

Using our Rail Pass, we took the IC train all the way towards Bruges (locally spelled as Brugge). The journey took us slightly more than 1 hour.


Bruges is so-called the "fairytale" medieval town of Belgium where the town is oval in shape, with 360 degrees surrounded by moat. Most of the roads in the town are covered by cobblestones. 

It was still very early when we arrived so the town was still quiet. We passed by many roads, meeting little visitors / locals along the way.

After a short walk, we finally reached a place where there were many people. And the sky turned blue to give us a little sunshine too! 

We opened our map and found out that we are at Church of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk) which houses one of Michaelangelo's masterpiece, Madonna and Child.

We had a quick look inside the church and found out that the queue was quite long! And both of us were not very interested to look at the REAL Madonna and Child, so we opted out! Took photo with the poster can already. Hahaha

Nearby this church was also where we found our first beautiful view of the canal. 

We then decided to walk deeper into the town and just enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way. 

We finally reached Rozenhoedkaai, which is the infamous postcard view of Bruges. But sorry my photos are a bit fail! Doesn't do the place justice at all! I swear the place is very much prettier! =S

At Rozenhoedkaai, there is also a boat ride tour organised by Bruges tourism. We decided to take the boat ride tour that lasts approximately 30 minutes for €8 per person.

 The boat ride was worth the value in my opinion as they talked a little about the architecture and culture of Bruges citizens.. and many fun facts of the bridges in Bruges! I would recommend to take the boat ride for anyone that is visiting Bruges!

We also passed by Lake of Love, a lake where there were plenty of swans!

My favourite place of the boat tour was at this canal. Love the view!

After our boat ride, we continued our journey towards the Market Square (Markt). Along the way, there were many beautiful shops selling intricate laces, something that Bruges is famous for.  

Also spotted this glass decos and dolls that interests me!

Anyway, back to Market Square!

Time passes very fast and it was almost 3 something when we finally decided to leave Bruges. We planned our journey to pass by the Bonifacius Bridge (Bonifaciusbrug).

On our way out, we decided to use the route that enters the Minnewaterpark. At one of the garden, we spotted rows and rows of lovely colourful flowers.

We finally left the town by crossing the bridge over the moat. 

Bye bye Bruges! You've been a fairytale!


***to be continued....


Read all about :
Day 1 & 2 in London - here.
Day 3,4 & 5 in London - here.
Day 6 in Antwerp - here.
Day 7 in Brussels - here.
Day 8 in Ghent - here.
Day 9 & 10 in London - coming soon.

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