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
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
Citadelpark at night
Though the park at daylight is somewhat quiet despite the number of culture, sport centers, casino around, it is another story in the evening.
The park is renowned for "hosting" male prostitutes for gay sex in the area. Also, the ara is known for cruising. It is a spot where gays meet each other, not necessarily for prostitution.
The trouble would come from some harrassements from them or troublemakers involved in the business.... Nonetheless, an insider told me that the trouble rather comes from gay bashers.
I would just avoid going there at night..
- Casino and Gambling
My classical warning when walking in a canal city
Pay attention when you walk, the quays don't have any rope nor fence to prevent you from falling in water.
Locals use to gather on the quays (Graslei and Koreneli) to have some fun with drinks and music. They are used to it. But what about you? Who would like a nice encountering with the rescue services that would pull you out from water?...
Special warning for springbreakers and parents with small kids :)
- Family Travel
- School Holidays
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
Vt friends in Ghent
Vt friends visiting my city Ghent.How can i better express this little Vt meeting as
"A téte-à-téte" - Irisbe/Caro and RahlpII on the picture - Tom and Gonnie (Tompt) are missing because they were fascinated by the store of the Fallen Angel - at the other side of the street
This fancy restaurant is located in the Jan Breydelstraat - near the Castle of counts !
The "Dulle Griet"
In fact - on this picture TWO "Dulle grieten" - Danielle and Gonnie - we had a great time in this famous café - drinking a good glass of belgian beer ! A good laugh while Tom was excited by drinking a KWAK-We eating cheese with mostard from the factory Tierentijn Danielle bought
November the 8th - some close Vt-members sitting at the table nr 23 - in the Dulle Griet
Gonnie made her choice out of more than 250 beers - a "Gentsche Tripple"
BTW - look at the symbol of Ghent "The Strop"
she is wearing - thx folks for being my guest
- Beer Tasting
Ghent is a very safe city. There are a lot of students wandering around at night and thanks to the nice pubs, Ghent is never really abandoned during the late hours.
However, some areas you might avoid during nighttime are the Citadelpark and also "Het Glazen Straatje", the prostitute area on the Brabantdam.
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
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
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.
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 :-)
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
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.
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