This Saturday we travelled up to the town of Ghent. It’s about 45 minutes from here (Brussels) and if you kept going about 25 minutes more you would hit Bruges. Ghent is the capital of East Flanders. It has a rich history and in the 13th century it was the second largest city in Europe, behind Paris.
The treaty of Ghent was signed here which ended the War of 1812. The architecture is a large mix of medieval, gothic, old dutch and utrecht. We spent a large part of our time walking around the canal streets, at The Gravensteen (a medieval castle), and at Saint Bavo Cathedral.
Old Dutch architecture
Zane and a cool post office box.
Thirsty? Try some Trappist specialities.
Lily asked if this was an instrument.
Hey, ladies! There is a giant castle behind you!
The kids found a way to amuse themselves as by playing ring-around-the stone-cold-hard-stepping-statue-that-when-you-fall-hurts-really-bad game.
Lily wanted to know if a princess was in this castle. Sorry honey, the princess is in the other castle.
No idea where this led to but, didn’t want to find out.
Jason made me take a picture of this door because he would like one just like this in our house someday.
And this begins our picture series of STAIRS. There were stairs all over the place. Stairs are not my friend. I have no idea why I have such a fear of them or why I’m so clumsy around them. We’ve been in our house about a month and I’ve misstepped on our stairs at least 10 times. Once landed me on my hands and knees. Ouch.
These stairs are no problem for me mom! I’ve got little feet!
They are so little! and keep going and going!
See the rope! That helps you get up! Because they are so tall, so steep, and so narrow that simply walking up is not possible. This is also super fun to do while holding on to a camera and a 3 year old who refuses to look at her feet while she goes up.
You see that shoe? That’s Lily’s foot. That’s the width of these stairs guys.
At the top. Whew. You can see the Belfry of Ghent, Saint Bavo Cathedral and Saint Nicholas’ Church in the background.
Looking down at the town.
Belgian flag, Black-Yellow-Red vertical. German flag Black-Red-Yellow horizontal. King snake vs. Coral snake. Jeopardy here I come.
“why is that man standing like that?” – Lily.
That is ONE BIG FIREPLACE.
Ya this one was hard to explain to the kids. I finally gave up, lied and said it was used to cut watermelons in half.
The room of torture. We walked quickly through this one.
Down that hole was the prison dungeon. Now people just throw money down it like a wishing well.
Peeking out a spy hole.
Gothic architecture ceilings
The sugar room. Don’t ask me why.
While no one is looking, we allow Zane to run.
Done with the castle, time to eat.
A local fritery. Pick what you want to eat, they fry it up.
Belgian frites. One of my favorite things to snack on.
Lily wanted to know why Ariel’s Dad was directing traffic.
Hold on there little girl, not yet, don’t make your mama cry.
The Belfry and Saint Bravo in the background.
Lily instructed me this where Cinderella learned it was midnight.
Poor horseys. They looked so sad.
I asked her if she wanted clams to eat.
Oh Germans, you and your ‘unique’ dressing styles.
Saint Bavo Cathedral
We told them they had to be silent inside the church so get it all out of their system before we went in. Worked like a charm.
Unfortunately I have no pictures of the inside of Saint Bavo. Photography was forbidden. Let me just say it was amazing. Like Notre Dame amazing. I hope you get to see it someday.