Ghent

An attractive city in Flanders. Whilst not as beautiful as Bruges or famous as Brussels, it is picturesque in places with narrow canals and a castle. Small although the third largest in Belgium it was once bigger than Moscow and the second largest city in Europe.
Its medieval hey days may have long passed but it still retains some reminders of what it once was and more importantly the aura that remains.

I went to Ghent during March having postponed an earlier trip as I had not yet fully recovered from an operation.

I had been several times to Belgium. Though hardly having any pictures due to a friend accidentally deleting my photos on an old camera. I also spent some of the late hours of New Years Eve in Brussels en-route from Portugal.
I arrived on an overnight coach and during the day met Alma from CS. A friendly and kind Croatian studying in the city.

Before meeting her I visited the castle Gravensteen. A little pricey in my opinion a lot rests on how much you enjoy the audioguide / video tale of a love story set within the castle which I guess aims to give a sense of life here. Whilst of some interest inside the castle the displays were more spartan. There were nice views from the walls somewhat let down by the uncompromising weather.

Ghent is made for walking and the centre is pretty. The streets, cafes and canals make strolling pleasant in good weather. And although the weather was not do inviting on my trip walking with Alma was enjoyable and she found a nice cafe and had waffles. Of course no trip to Belgium would be complete without chocolate and she introduced me to Daskalides
One of many excellent chocolate artisans in Belgium that I could attest to.

I was hosted by the kind Charlotte and enjoyed sometime meeting with her and her friends before departing Sudan evening for the overnight coach to London and work.
Within Ghent there are several interesting places connected with trade – including a statue of Jacob Van Artevelde , pointing (or so I have read) towards England. His savvy business trading (getting permission to import wool from England) is credited for saving the Flemish cloth industry and keeping the city mainly neutral in the Hundred Years War between England and France.