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Friday, September 08, 2006

Ghent: the "Venice of Flanders"

This month (September 6-8) I paid a flying visit (literally, Ryanair, Prestwick - Brussels Charleroi) to Belgium to catch up with architect Viviane who was helpful in finding information about roof designs in my recent research on House Sparrows. Arrival in Ghent on a perfect autumn afternoon called for a guided canal boat trip where most of the important waterside buildings (for example the former Guildhouse of the League of Grain Dryers) was pointed out.

Ghent: City of waterways. Note the impressive Guildhouse of the League of Grain Dryers, left centre

In the evning I was directed to an excellent bar/restaurant, a few minutes walk away from the expensive tourist watersides, where good local food at a reasonable price is to be had, namely at the Eetkaffee De Lieve, Sint-Margrietstraat 1.

After eating it was an opportunity to locate my favourite bar in continental Europe, to be found on the waterside at Café Gouden Mandeke, Lucas Geysen, Pensmarkt 9, for a couple of glasses of Leffe Blond.

The best bar in Contenental Europe? Probably.

Thursday morning was spent visiting Viviane's antique doll booth in the market and inspecting one of the splendid buildings she is helping to rennovate. The fine afternoon called for only one activity, namely a two hour cruise in a self-drive boat down the river. My final evening was spent sightseeing in the city amongst the impressive towers, ending up in the aforementioned restaurant and bar but, with the prospect of an early start for the airport the next morning, I confined myself to hot chocolate. Honest!

Ghent: City of the Three Towers


Blogger simon said...

it looks stunning! I will have to try that bar mate for sure! Looks better than the Albmarle pub!

8:45 am  
Blogger tortoiseshell said...

Did you have Leffe or Hoegaarden?

10:21 pm  
Anonymous viviane said...

Simon, you're always welcome ! There are loads of other good bars though :-) But the best barman is located at Market15 - Baudeloostraat;-)

11:31 pm  
Blogger Maalie said...

Tortoiseshell, I drink mostly Leffe blond, but won't refuse others if offered. The thing I like about Belgian bars is that they're not obsessed about serving the beer so freezing cold that it freezles your tongue. Something I'm going to have to suffer in Australia in a couple of weeks ;-)

9:57 am  
Blogger simon said...

Thanks Viviane. How is your market stall? does it "work"? We had a stall selling leahter goods many years ago here in Sydney.

Jim:- The beer will be at room temp as per our bet :o(

11:53 pm  
Anonymous viviane said...

Simon, yes it goes well at the moment ! It's a more 'sophisticated' one I have to admit :-)

11:27 pm  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

There was an article in our local paper last night about the first godwits of the season arriving in the Manawatu River Estuary. Doesn't seem so very long ago I was looking at birds in Europe!!

4:41 am  

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