It was freezing when we woke up this morning and even though I was wearing my fleece, sleeping under a blanket and inside my sleeping bag liner I was somehow still cold. It quickly wore off though after having put on my clothes, folded up the blow-up mattress and packed my bag. Once again we had the house to ourselves and ate a quick breakfast before heading toward the bus station. We took the bus to Ghent train station and hopped on tram 1 going into the city centre.
In Ghent we first took a look around the inside of Saint Bavo Cathedral. Inside the church hung the oldest oil painting in history (we think), but to see it we had to pay 4€ so we decided against it - one picture can’t be worth that much.
We passed by the bell tower and another church on our way to Coren Market, a cosy little square encircled by historical buildings.
The old town of Ghent was the loveliest little area, with very few people and beautiful old buildings. It was such a cosy and peaceful old town, and we simply walked around it for quite a while.
We took some pictures of the old castle and then went down to the canals.
We walked along the canal and up through streets and back again before resting a little on a bench, having found a spot in the sun.
We walked back the way we had come from and continued further to Saint Michael’s bridge from where we had a lovely view over the canal.
We strolled down by the canal again ending our walk in the little Japanese restaurant Ramen. Here they kindly made the vegetarian ramen and gyozas vegan for us, and we once again enjoyed a warm noodle soup - although this one unfortunately couldn’t measure up to the one in Bruges (but I don’t think anything could).
We continued down different streets and past old houses until we reached the little square Vrijdagmarkt. In the middle stood a statue and we decided to sit down under it, enjoying the sun.
The weather was great. Although having been cold this morning, the air had warmed considerably and in the sun it couldn’t have been better. We stayed under the statue for quite a while, unable to tear ourselves away from the lovely spot in the sun.
Finally we did continue, though, and roamed around a little, although unsure about where to go, as we had already been to most of the recommended squares, streets and buildings. We ended up walking to café Mie Vie where we once again got coffee and cake - I think this habit will result in us being fat and broke at the end of the trip, but at least we’ll have cosy memories.
I had to run back to an ATM though to withdraw money, since it was only possible to pay with Maestro or cash (and who even has a Maestro card?), something we didn't realise until after they had made the coffee. Everything went smoothly though, and I managed not to get lost without Zuzanna to guide me.
We drank our hot drinks and ate our cake before slowly making our way to the train station, where we boarded the train to Antwerpen Central. Antwerpen Central had trains in three stories which we were pretty impressed by and we quickly boarded the train to Schiphol Airport, and then to Weesp train station.
From the train station we walked for about 10 minutes to get to our AirBnB, following the canal the whole way there, while the sun was beginning to set over the still water. It was a beautiful place.
We arrived at the wooden gate, which opened up to a little white house, chickens on our left and a boat barely visible on the right side of the house. Our host quickly came out from the house to greet us and showed us the boat we had rented for the next three nights. It was an adorable little thing with just enough room for two and our own bathroom inside the house. It seemed like such a fun way to experience the Netherlands - why shouldn’t the home be an experience in itself?
We settled in and through a little bit of googling found an Italian restaurant down the road that had vegan options on the menu. We walked by the canal to reach Selene, where we ate a really great dinner in cosy surroundings.
We walked back to our boat, took a shower and snuggled up in bed under the warm duvet, hoping that it wouldn’t get too cold on the little boat. I couldn’t quite fall asleep yet though, as 20% of the tickets for the Anne Frank house would be sold on the same day, and I therefore decided to stay up until 12, so we could hopefully snatch up some tickets. And since there was no reason for both of us to stay up late, Zuzanna went to bed, while I happily read my book by the light of two fake candles. I just hope we’ll get tickets.
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