Today is our last day of the mini adventure and it’s strange to think we’ll be sleeping in our own beds again tonight. It’s just a 45 minute drive to Ghent and we make use of the excellent park and rides we’ve been using for most of the trip. Thanks to the clock change we’re there for 10am and since the rain is just about holding off we decide to first go on a boat ride. Everything you read about Ghent says how its very similar to Bruges but less touristy, there’s certainly a similar vibe with all the canals.
After the boat ride we wander the quaint cobbled streets, Al gets the traditional Belgium fries and mayo whilst the kids share a chocolate waffle.
I also read about a special sweet that is made in Ghent called cuberdons so we had to try some of those.
The original flavour is blackcurrant and is similar to jelly, Liliya wasn’t a fan but the rest of us thought they were OK.
No trip to Belgium would also be complete without beer and chocolate again so Al chose a local Ghent beer to take home whilst we all found a chocolate tasting at a local shop. We got to sample 8 chocolates from many different regions of Belgium, they were very tasty and rich so 8 between us was plenty.
For our last chocolate he asked if we wanted to play it safe or try something adventurous. Given we like to think of ourselves as the latter he gave us a chocolate with bay leaves as the main flavour, it was certainly different but yummy.
Next on our list was the medieval castle Gravensteen. Given I hadn’t planned this before arriving the tickets were actually sold out until later so we had about an hour for more exploring first.
We headed to graffiti street where artists are encouraged to spray the walls and the art work is constantly changing. On the way there we passed a shop called bookz and booze so had to take a look inside. What a delight it was and interestingly I had seen the same shop in Antwerp but it was closed when we were there. It was quite hard to choose as there were so many different bottles of spirits all interspersed with an eclectic mix of books. I’ve still got a large collection of gin so decided to try a rum. There was one bottle he told us about that sits on the bottom of the sea for two years! The bottle looked beautiful but at €400 he said he wouldn’t choose it if I was planning on drinking it with a mixer 😂. He did let us try a rum like spirit that was made locally from beets. It had an initial whiskey taste to it which wasn’t for me so I was very grateful that Al finished the shot! In the end I went for a pineapple rum that he recommended.
We’d ended up spending quite a while there so we walked down graffiti street which had a Halloween theme then headed back for our castle tour.
The tour came with a comical audio guide which was definitely not filled with usual facts and kept us all very entertained, I think Robert especially liked the top 5 executions that have happened here.
Liliya did a great job on her quest for the jester and the kids were rewarded with a badge at the end of the tour.
With about an hour left we just had time to visit the cathedral, it is said they have one of the world’s oldest oil paintings here but you have to pay to see that and we weren’t that interested.
On the way back to the tram stop Al commented that he could smell cinnamon then a few moments later up pops a cinnamon roll shop. Given Liliya tried one yesterday and actually took a liking to them and Al not wanting to share they all got their own. I’m not a massive cinnamon fan but Robert’s oreo flavour roll was very tasty.
I have to say I’m really happy we chose Ghent over Brussels, it was a lovely city with plenty to see and do.
Back on the tram and we’ve got just under 2hrs to get back to the shuttle. The heavens have opened again but at least the rain mostly held off for us during the day. Annoyingly we’re at the tunnel the recommend hour before our booking but there’s a hold up at passport control and we miss our booking. We’re straight in the next train only 20 minutes later though so I still really prefer this to the ferry as the kids don’t have to leave the moho and are already tucked up in their pj’s listening to audio books before it’s back to school tomorrow.
It wasn’t the original relaxing week in the sun I was thinking of booking post big adventure but after getting to moho we had to make the most of it. We’ve got some issues we need to sort out once we’re back but it’s worked out really well in terms of size and layout. Now it’s time to get halloween, fireworks and Christmas out of the way before planning our Olympics 2024 road trip next summer!