Visiting the southern neighbours

I will not suggest to pay a €10 train ticket at the ticket machine with 20 cents. We tried that, and confused the machine so much, that it spit back all our coins and we decided to let the queue behind us continue first, while we attempt alternative means. Eventually having bought some coffee, to get some bigger coins (the machine doesn't accept notes) and buying the tickets successfully like that, the machine was printing the tickets, as our train drove off 10 seconds before we could make it.
So our trip started 30 minutes later.

In the train from Purmerend to Amsterdam Central, to Antwerp and to Ghent. Here we had a new public transport system to figure out. Taking the right tram in the wrong direction (so back to Ghent Sint Pieters station) before realising that we don't need to buy single tickets, but 3-day passes for unlimited train rides. 
Finally in our tram to our B&B, Neill heard from a photographer living in Ghent, which he had some contact with - Piet van den Eynde. So at the Korenmarkt we got off to meet him at a café for a beer.
When we at long last arrived at our B&B. Faja Lobi is a cozy little B&B, where it feels like an old home and you get a simple, yet incredible breakfast made by the owners every morning. It is located just outside the city centre, but only 10 minutes walking distance to get there.


After getting to our room and settling in a bit, we got up, freshened up, and locked up. Off we went back in to the city for a walk and eventually some dinner.

Ghent has really blown me away since we got off at the Korenmarkt. As it is right by the St. Niklaas church, and in full view of (the towers of) St. Baafs cathedral and the Belfry of Ghent, I was quite awestruck! 
It is one of those cities that I just completely loved as I stepped into it. Walking around, you see so much detail on the buildings, you can feel the history among the streets and you can sense a pride that the locals have in their city. The walk home after dinner going into the dark was as lovely as the sun setting upon the buildings.

(The next day we went to Bruges. I will write a separate post for that, as both sets of photos just needs to be viewed as cities on their own.)

Our last day in Ghent, we met up with a friend of ours whom we met at a wedding in South Africa. As someone who loves Ghent with body and heart and soul, we couldn't have wished for a better guide through this amazing city. We heard some incredible history stories and learnt to love this city like she does. Among many things, we walked along the graffiti street (which has been established as the go-to place for graffiti, to keep the graffiti off of the many historic buildings), we heard some speculation about statue of Jacob van Artvelde, we visited the Gravensteen castle, we had coffee on a corner terrace, had more amazing coffee & snacks at a new café called True Beans, got introduced to neuzekes and ended it with a delicious lunch at Mosquito Coast.

We had to rush back to Ghent library where we left our cases (where our friend works), to make our tram to the station on time to catch our train to our next destination!



See below also the previous posts, in case you have missed them.