Even more charming!
Over supper on the previous evening we decided on the Flanders city rather than attempting a combo of perhaps Tournai and Mons, or Tournai and Lille. Driving in Belgium was not quite the Fahrvergnügen it is in Austria, so if we could park the Crossover and be done with it for the day, so much the better.
The Ghent tourism page spoke of a Sunday Flea Market. I am always up for a wander through household leftovers in search of something whimsical that I did not know I needed. The flea market was a little oversold, though and I came away with nothing.
St. John, the patron saint of antiques.
A SUNDAY MARKET!
Our next destination, the Castle of the Counts, however, was the opposite. We absolutely loved touring the castle and taking in the views.
Continuing, we picked up a small package of “Ghent Noses,” or Cuberdon for Anna Grace on our way to lunch.
Ghent proper was Copenhagen; Amsterdam; and Venice all in one, but with a fraction of the tourists. And entirely magical.
A little fixer-upper along the canal. A gal can dream, no?
The vintage wallpaper store, Priem. If only I had a real home to wallpaper.
We found Brasserie Bridge and a table outside on this warm but breezy day, the Ghent Belfry and St. Bavo’s our scenery. Tony ordered a Steak Bearnaise, much to his liking; and I, the Flemish Beef Stew, equally as tasty and with a lovely presentation. The breeze on this day was quite something—several of the lighter salad pieces on our plates blew away!
Following our lunch, St. Bavo’s. WOW! The church’s interior is at least eye-candy for the traditional tourist and an architectural splendor for others, though the interior space was surprisingly empty. And as is our luck, the famed, “Lamb of God” altarpiece was not available for viewing. Tony and I laughed: it is not a holiday for us if something important is not either under scaffolding or otherwise unavailable for viewing.
We departed Ghent in the late afternoon in search of a nearby American cemetery in “Flanders Fields.” A “Family Bike Ride” event in the town of choice had blocked access to the cemetery road, alas. Though we did see plenty of cows (and a few poppies), we were unable to reach the cemetery proper. Admitting defeat, we slogged through a traffic-dense drive back to our lodging, and foraged amongst the offerings at the nearby Carrefour for something we could call supper.