Urinating in public
I was already well informed by VT member Nemorino's Wildplassen tip, that urinating in public can be quite expensive in Gent. It is fined 60 Euro as shown on the warning signs. This not only refers to human beings, but also to dogs as can be seen on some signs on the pavement.
I must admit that I usually don't urinate in public, at least not in the city centre of a busy town. Also so far I haven't seen any dog with money to pay for their droppings.
So what Nemorino doesn't tell us and what quite surprised me is that Gent has plenty of free public toilets. I used quite a few of them and they were all relatively clean.
For men, the city even has a few pissoir boxes installed. So there is actually no need to risk a fine of 60 Euro for "Wildplassen".
- Budget Travel
Luckily I came to Gent by train, so I didn't have to worry about where to park my car. Nevertheless, during my 3 days in the city I noticed a few illegally parked cars being towed away by tow trucks.
So if you come to Gent by car, make sure to only park your car at a legal parking space to not experience any unplanned surprises.
- Budget Travel
You don’t need a dictionary to know what “Wildplassen” means.
If they catch you doing it, you’ll be fined sixty Euros. As you can see from the sign, the rule applies equally to both sexes.
This is quite a stiff penalty, since the fine for the same offense in Paris is only thirty-five Euros.
Stay in the city center
Like most city's the city center is the safest place . there is more police controle and social controle . dont go look in the suburbs , some suburbs hold high concentrations of poverty and crime . Not the kind you would find in LA or NYC . but none is better than some . try to stay away from suburbs like : Nieuw Gent , Muide , Rabot , Brugse poort , Dampoort , Van beveren plein , Ledeberg and Meulestede . But normaly tourists never come there , nothing you need over there :D . anyway Ghent is the safest city , our suburbs are nothing compared to those of antwerp and brussels . But you should definatly visit Ghent , the Middeval buildings are breath taking ! This is the manhattan of the middle ages . . .
This ain't no itsy bitsy spider
I think there may be a GIANT spider lurking on the cobblestone streets of Gent, look at the size of this spiderweb!!!!
If you dare, you can find this spiderweb on the side of Gravensteen Castle, I remember it from our first visit to Gent in 2000 so it must be there permanently.
Not a place to be watching your weight
Lucky for me I REALLY like to walk or the caloric damage from this trip would have been absurd, waffles with fresh cream and chocolate, frites dunked in mayonnaise, Belgian beer, moules et frites in cream sauce and Belgian chocolate stores on every corner, it's impossible to exercise restraint! So put aside the calorie counter, enjoy all the culinary delights that Gent and Belgium have to offer and avoid the scale for at least two weeks after your return home :-)
Police in town
Just like in many american states, in Ghent we are secured by water/canal police.
It's like Bruce Willis in the film....
The engine is from Yamaha, not a Honda engine, so can they be succesfull anyway?
I have my doubts.
Since the soap "Flikken" became so popular in Flanders and even in the Netherlands it is no longer a penalty worthed if you call a policemen or women "a flic"
BTW : Flic stands for "Federation liberé des imbeciles casqué" Visit me in jail next time - i only can hope there is an internet connection.
The second picture shows you how local fairs can stimulate you to get candidate for the federal police in Belgium
- Sailing and Boating
The Rising Angels
After the invasion of the Italians - this street was infiltraded by Antwerp people strenghtened by a student from Ski Lanka !
March 2006 - next invasion - with an american Lady from Houston/Texas - Nancy
We had beautifull weather, to be short - a great afternoon.
Please look at the detail - recently a "s" was added to the word Angels, did they know that i would come back with more charming ladies.
- Historical Travel
- Food and Dining
A little VT meeting
Caro in full action - she can not decide - shall i attack the genever or the Kwak Tom is drinking.
Steventily - this is your turn to comment--to tease or to .... Anyhow she did not spoil the genever like last time !!!
March 2006 - A next little VT-meeting in Ghent - this time with Nancy, from Houston /Texas and of course "Volunteers" Caro and Irisbe
Since i've been to the US-Alabama, i knew that the americans use to drink their Budweiser from the bottle, no glass.But look how this charming lady is drinking tripple, fingertipping by fingertipping.
- Historical Travel
- Beer Tasting
"Image you are driving in this street, it will take some time to read all the signs."
A view years ago the inner city driving policy changed , driving in a circle around the center,
sometimes not that easy.
My recommandation : take a bus or tram.
- Road Trip
Belgian Beer can be strong
Belgian beer can be stronger than you think. I mean after having a ew beers at around 8% when you are used to something say more like 4.5% then you will know about it.
Just drink slower to appriciate the lovely flavours.
There are so many types it is impossible to telly ou which I think are best. But I do like the one opposite :-) (also seen on the intro page)
- Beer Tasting
Got an Enemy at the Gates, do you?
...or even at the front door, or on the sidewalk out in front of your house? Then you need one of these trap door set ups on your roof. Just push it open and easily pour boiling oil or throw rocks or shoot arrows down on the Offender. That's one mistake he won't be making again anytime soon. (This device is up along the ramparts of Gravensteen Castle. You'll never see it if you take the easy path and just gawk at the castle from the outside.)
Daddy, what's that?
While seeing the exhibition in Sint-Pieters abbey, I spotted a poster on the wall of the ancient refectory of the monks. It was at the other side of the room where we should exit after seeing what we had to see in the room.
As soon as I saw it, I thought of a childbirth closeup... Then, we kept up on wandering around some other pieces, laughing, wondering whether how bright coloured piled up kettles came to be contemporary art pieces. Then, we got closer to the wall.
As closer as we got, it hit me. The poster was not about a childbirth and the round thing was not the head of the newborn. No, no! This was simply a closeup of a coitus (!). Well, to be honest, I couldn't believe it since this was an ancient refectory, that most of pieces there were about kettles, TV set and armchair, a babyfoot board...
Then, on our way out, we met this family with a kid. Weird enough, they started the exhibition from the exit. Dannie was busy taking picture of sthg when I fainted forgetting sthg and followed my way back, then the family.
They entered the room, the kid descending the stairs first. Of course, he had to pass near the picture. He stared at it, didn't understand anything. Then, way logical, he pulled his dad's hand to have him looking at the pic. They were on the foot of the wall, at same level as the poster. As soon as the guy saw the poster, he went red. But, the kid hadn't asked the very question yet.
It came soon: "Dad, what's that?". "I don't know" he answered...
Of course, he couldn't know, how could he?
Sooooo, parents, if you go there, nothing that disturbing or dangerous. Just say "I don't know". It's always a better answer than the classical "It's not of your age"
On our way out of the abbey, we saw the family on the street.. Quiet. Yet, in the refectory room, I saw the guy talking to his wife, pointing out the poster. Nothing happened. Just usual anecdots involving curious kids and their questions.
Wanna see the rest of the tips? Click here
- Arts and Culture
- Museum Visits
- Family Travel
Summer 2003 was really hot, sticky hot with this heatwave devastating Europe.
While visiting Belgium, now is the time for locals, who use to nag about Belgian rainy weather, to pray for some rain. :)
My advices: bring some bottle of water while walking through the city. In addition, don't go under the sun if you are too sensitive unless you have your strong SPF cream. Sunglasses are useful to avoid this bright light hindering you.
If you drive, don't leave neither the pets, neither the kids, neither your mother-in-law in your car while having your shopping spree. And bring some extra bottles of water. These are the times when the three categories above mentioned (yes, the older mother-in-law, too) are especially vulnerable. Take care of them.
- Family Travel
Trains coming from Antwerp
Yes - this is a train coming from Antwerp - first class seats - airconditioned in the summer - and a special equipment on the roof of the train used in winter time ! A special heating system with chimney exhaust pipes!
PS - dear Vt members - this is only a joke between citizens of Antwerp (shadow city) and proud people like me living in Ghent - the place to be whenever visiting Belgium
- Road Trip
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