This weekend we decided to take a trip to tour a couple of Belgium’s well-known cities, Ghent & Bruges.
Saturday May 14th
We took the hour drive to Ghent mid-morning on Saturday. We arrived to our hotel, Ghent Marriott, to check-in and were greeted by an exceptional front desk manager. He provided us with a map which he highlighted of places to go, and then offered us suggestions for dinner which he made us reservations for.
For lunch we stumbled upon a cool burger and beer place, Uncle Babes. http://unclebabes.com To date this is the best burger I have had since we moved to Belgium.
One of my least favorite, but really the most amazing thing about being out in about in any Belgian city is the intoxicating smell of the fresh, hot, sweet WAFFLES. We have yet to visit a city and not try them. I swear Belgians have found a way to make a smell addicting. Once you catch a whiff there is no going back. I think Wil and I will take on the challenge of tasting a waffle in every town we visit in Belgium. It will be tough, but someone must face the task of finding out where the best waffle resides.
The restaurant we went to for dinner was suggested by the hotel concierge…they are definitely a go-to when traveling to a new place. Packhuis was a short walking distance from the hotel and is located in a huge refurbished warehouse. The meal was absolutely DELISH. http://www.pakhuis.be/en/
If there is something that Wil and I can work to improve on, it is pre-planning of what to see and do on our day/weekend trips. We are all for exploring and learning about a new city, but in that we miss sites we had to plan in advance to see. For instance, we passed this amazing castle and it was closed when we went back.
Needless to say Gent was simply charming with so much left to explore than what we were able to see. The streets, lovely local shops, and small bridges were picturesque. This is the perfect city to visit in the spring. We will be back.
Sunday May 15th
After a delicious continental breakfast at the Marriott (an extra 5 euros per person), we made the 45min drive to Bruges.
Overall, I think Bruges is likely a beautiful city, but from the time spent there I viewed it to be a tourist trap. We did only spend 1/2 a day there, but after all of our extensive walking, I’m not interested in going back. It was extremely congested…again likely because it was a beautiful day. The waterways were nice, but Gent was better. The Grote Markt was lovely, picture below, and the waffles were perfect.
Wil I likely will not back unless there is an event that pulls us that direction.
Looking forward to many more weekends of exploring Belgium and beyond!