Day Trip to Ghent: Part III

Last time I went beer sampling in Belgium, Brussels to be exact, we drank so many that I actually had to stop taking pictures of them due to lack of space on my memory card. 
You see, there are simply so many beers here that visiting Ghent felt like a Golden age theme park for beer lovers. Yes, I'd say we were pleased.

If you missed the other parts of our adventure read Ghent Part I (we ate speculoos cupcakes!) and Ghent Part II (the medieval castle!)

 

This time around, we kept it simple. After eating cupcakes and tour of Gravensteeg castle we headed down the street to Het Waterhuis aan de Bier Krant. It was a delicious afternoon break complete with sunshine, views of the canal and a chilled Delirium blond beer.


In between rounds of beers we explored the cobblestone streets, poked around little shops 
and couldn't stop admiring the sun soaked buildings... 


 
 
 
Apparently yarn bombing has hit Ghent, but it looks like they missed a few spots. 

We stopped to sample the traditional candy of Ghent, neuzen. This was probably a tourist trap but the (nose shaped?) soft candies weren't so bad. I hate to say it but I actually preferred the licorice flavor... does that mean I've been in Holland too long?


Then we continued to wander more... and spotted cute gabled buildings here, there and everywhere. 
A very leisurely afternoon indeed... 

 
 
 
 

Much like the disappointing postcard selection, we had a hard time finding decent frites in Ghent. So, we quickly headed away from the snack bar and walked along the river bank where everyone was relaxing and soaking up the sunshine. While strolling along we set out for some retail therapy at one of my favorite shops, Dille & Kamille. I picked up a jar of biological jam and Ellen found a miniature plant.

 
 
 
We headed back to Amsterdam at sunset and I cycled back home in time to enjoy popcorn and a movie.  Little road trips are so much fun, our trip to Ghent made for a perfectly lovely day. 

I'd love to know if you have any recommendations for other day trips around this area!

Day Trip to Ghent: Part II

Our trip to Ghent was somewhat organized. As in, we knew that drinking Belgian beers, enjoying the sunshine and taking lots of pictures were our top priorities. So what else is there to do in Ghent? I'd recommend having a visit to Gravensteen, the medieval castle located smack dab in the city center. Bonus: it's just around the corner from a bakery with speculoos cupcakes.


The castle's original structure was built in the 12th century. We didn't purchase the audio guide and honestly, I kind of regret this since informative signs were sparse throughout. But, that's okay because the exhibits consisted mostly of torture devices and medieval weaponry which aren't very high on my list of interests.

 

If you're limited on time, skip the torture chamber and hike straight up to the top. The city views alone are worth the entry fee.

 
   

After checking this off the list we headed out in search of frites and biertjes. Ready for more? You can read more about our adventures in Ghent Part I (speculoos cupcakes!) and Ghent Part III (Belgian beers)!

Day Trip to Ghent: Part I

I understand that it's easy for others to often over romanticise my life abroad here in Holland. It really is lovely to walk along the canals and visit famous works of art just down the street. Sharing those experiences is important and a strong reason why I keep this blog.

But I promise you, the expat life isn't always as fancy as it seems and all the regular daily life requirements can sometimes feels 10x harder because it doesn't feel normal. For each of the picturesque moments there are equal if not more moments of embarrassment or frustration that come along with being a foreigner but...

Then again, sometimes living the expat life does feel glamorous! Like on Saturday, when Ellen and I took a mini road trip to visit the quaint, historical city of Ghent. Belgium is only a two hour drive from Amsterdam so it was perfect for a day trip! I hope I never become jaded by the fact that you can drive to another country and back in just a day, from and American perspective it's so cool.

After parking in the city center we set out to find a coffee and wi-fi to finish our sightseeing 'to-do' list. Honestly, we didn't even need a list because first, wandering around Ghent is simply adorable. And second, it's so small that you really just make one loop and you've seen it all.


Ellen caught me going over our itinerary

 Coffee + Chocolates at Daskalidès 

Then, we set out to explore the city in search of Julie's House. This bakery was recommended by a friend and naturally we needed to sample a sweet treat ourselves, because lattes and Belgian chocolates simply weren't enough for one afternoon...


I wanted to send a postcard here, but unfortunately the selection in Ghent was subpar. I guess the put all their energy in designing letter boxes instead.

Charming, isn't it?

Snapping a few shots in search of our sugar rush...

Everything in Julie's House looked so tasty but the choice was simple. We ordered a speculoos and a red velvet cupcake to share. Then we quickly decided that calories don't count on weekends.

Yum, yum yum!

A few other snacks that I upheld the urge not to eat...

Since we gobbled up the cupcakes in less than five-minutes we had plenty energy to explore the castle. Hiking up ancient stone towers was a great way to burn off the 'calorie free' cupcakes!

You can read more about our adventures in Ghent Part II (the castle!) and Ghent Part III (lots of beers!)