Old, and even older

Ghent Travel Blog

 › entry 4 of 4 › view all entries
Art nouveau decorated radiators
Today, Saturday.
Because our hotel was in the center of the old town I expected it to be a bit noisy because of the traffic. I can live with that, no big deal. But I hadn't thought of the cobblestone pavement, which added an extra touch to the traffic. This resulted that I thought heavy vehicles were riding close to our hotel, but after awhile I figured it was just normal sized cars in the mainstreet around the corner.
So, after being awake a couple of hours somewhere in the middle of the night (the novel I took with me was not helping much to get me asleep, too fascinating) I slept untill about 8.45. Breakfast was served from 8.00 until 11.30 so we still would be in time for it :)
The breakfast room of the hotel has some nice art nouveau decorated central heating radiators, and the walls are covered with painted board panels.
Cutlery and other oldies at antique market near St. Jacobschurch
Ceiling has ornaments as well. The room looked very nice and the breakfast was fair enough. Plenty of choice but not overdone.
After breakfast we returned to our room to pack our bags, the cleaning lady tried to enter 2 or 3 times, but we were not ready to leave until 11.00. We left our luggage at the reception desk again, and headed to the streets near St. Jacobs church for the Saturday morning antique market.
Lovely old and not so old stuff. I did see really antique stuff, and there were a lot of old maps as well, mainly covering Belgium ofcourse, but some German as well. Unfortunately the northern Netherlands were not amongst those maps.
Beautiful cutlery and glasswork too, thank goodness that stuff is either a bit heavy or vulnerable, thus a bad idea to buy it because we should have to take it with us on the train and bus.
Old stuff at antique market near St. Jacobs church
And so we were saved from this purchase.

After the antique market we walked towards the Groot Kanonplein, where the Dulle Griet stands. Dulle Griet is the name of the canon on that square.

And then it was about time for our visit to the Gravensteen, the castle of the counts of Flanders, which is situated right in the old town center.
We did the roundtrip without a guide, direction- and information signs are in every hall. I even climbed up to the towers and stopped my thinking (or fear) whilst taking pictures of the towns rooftops. The fact that the gaps between the merlons were covered with thick wooden boards, ofcourse helped to put my fertigo aside for a little while. In Dutch we have saying for such circumstances which is: Verstand op nul, blik op oneindig - which can be described as "don't use your mind, use an endless gaze" - especially the first part of that saying helps to overcome the fear for a few moments.
Dulle Griet, the name of the cannon, with a cannonball in front of it
And I have to say it, I really enjoyed the tour and was glad that I climbed up (and down) all those spiral stairs.

When we stopped gazing at all the old stone halls, chapels, dungeons, we headed back to the Graslei site looking for a nice place to have a drink or so. We tried the Butcher's hall, but we were not ready for the typical Ganda ham, instead we went to the terrace of Brasserie de Graslei, where we sat down for a coffee and some pancakes.

We might enter the Belfort, but at the information desk we were told that the main attraction would be to climb up all the stairs for a marvellous view we decided not to, despite the parapet of over 1 meter. Climbing the spiral stairs at the Gravensteen was more than enough for one day and I better not risk a stroke of Menière.
Ganda ham in het Groot Vleeshuis/Butchers Hall

Later that afternoon we picked up our bags at the St. Jorishof hotel, and started to walk to the Ghent Dampoort station, which was far more near the old town center than the St. Pieters station. However, the bags were a bit heavy so we did not go any further than the nearest busstop where we took a bus to the station.
I planned to take some pictures at Antwerp Central Station, because we did not do so the day before, but we found out we got about 5 minutes to change to the international train, an hour earlier than I thought we would travel, so hurrying for the escalators we made it in time for the 18.00 train to Amsterdam. Thus, not pictures. Wiping off the sweat when we entered the train, and again and again because the airconditioning did not function.
Groot Kanon plein / Big cannon square
The question rises: "do you really need airconditioning?" And the answer is: "Yes", because on these modern trains, the windows cannot be opened anymore....
After two hours of sultry heat we arrived at a cooler platform at Amsterdam Central Station, still in the twenties Celsius. Another thirty minutes on the bus and we were home again.

ik-ben-10eke says:
History is on every street and around every corner, and beautifully maintained.
Posted on: Aug 08, 2009
mego2 says:
I would enjoy being here =D
Posted on: Aug 07, 2009
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Art nouveau decorated radiators
Art nouveau decorated radiators
Cutlery and other oldies at antiqu…
Cutlery and other oldies at antiq…
Old stuff at antique market near S…
Old stuff at antique market near …
Dulle Griet, the name of the canno…
Dulle Griet, the name of the cann…
Ganda ham in het Groot Vleeshuis/B…
Ganda ham in het Groot Vleeshuis/…
Groot Kanon plein / Big cannon squ…
Groot Kanon plein / Big cannon sq…
St. Nicolaas church
St. Nicolaas church
Rooftop scene as seen from the Gra…
Rooftop scene as seen from the Gr…
Station Ghent Dampoort, on our way…
Station Ghent Dampoort, on our wa…
Dulle Griet
Dulle Griet
Painted walls
Painted walls
Ghent Sights & Attractions review
Music, independance and probably a great view
When as a child browsing the pages of an old songbook with with children- and folksongs of the low countries I came upon the "Klokke Roeland" song. Th… read entire review
Ghent Sights & Attractions review
Het Gravensteen
(In dutch as well - scroll down). Gravensteen, the name explains it all: A stone building for the count, in this case the count of Flanders. A b… read entire review
photo by: lasersurge