In Berlin I met a guy called Aric. Aric told me about a place called Ghent. With four nights and no plans in between stays in Berlin and Paris, I decided on a whim to book a little trip to this little Belgian wonderland.
And aren’t I glad I did.
Standing at the end of St Michael’s Bridge, looking out over Ghent’s historic city centre, I felt like I could breathe again for the first time in weeks. It was everything I’d missed while I’d been in Berlin.
The Flemish-gothic architecture set on cobblestoned streets running along boat-filled canals… Little brown cafes, towering cathedrals, clock towers chiming. It was all so picturesque. So idyllic.
I spent two days wandering the streets, taking it all in… I visited the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, the most stolen artwork of all time, on display in St Bavo’s Cathedral, so beautiful it brought me to tears. I took a train out to Leuven to visit Elise and reminisce on our Allens days…
On the third day Aric joined me, and the beer drinking and frittes eating was ramped up a notch.
We drank 1.2L beers from a yard glass that required your shoe as a deposit (click the link, seriously!), ordered everything from the menu at Alix (Aric’s friend’s stunning restaurant), drank more beer (the world’s very best – Westvleteren), visited a psychiatric hospital-turned museum, took a little break from drinking beer to drink a few genevers, ate mussels, drank more beer, ate more frittes… It was all so wonderful I decided to postpone my arrival in Paris and stay another night. Aric’s gorgeous friends Robert & Ali were lovely enough to take us in for the night, and we ate and drank and ate and drank some more. We finished with a long brunch and three bottles of proseco in Alix’s garden, before bidding Ghent and its wonderful people farewell, and boarding a train bound for Paris. And believe me when I tell you, it just kept getting better.
Aric, how can I ever thank you?