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 Daskalid├Ęs 

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!)