Belgium 2010 – Gent

Our 4th day of this trip was spent in a nice little medieval town called Gent.  The architecture was quite interesting, and the whole town had a nice Gothic feel to it.  We decided to keep this day pretty uneventful, and get to bed at a decent hour.  Both Peter and I were still a bit jet lagged, and also tired from not getting a full night sleep the previous night due to our train debacle.

Just outside of our hostel was this marvelous castle.  I can’t remember for the life of me what it is called.  Buildings like this paint the scenery and it feels a bit surreal walking down the streets.

The native tongue in Gent is Flemish (a dialect of Dutch), and I understand almost 0% of that language.  My French, however, has been holding up somewhat strong for most of this trip.  I understand it much better than I speak it, but I have been able to successfully carry out transactions, read signs and menus, and give directions this trip.  I feel a bit vindicated that my years of French in school weren’t an entire waste, and that I haven’t forgotten it all despite never actually traveling to a French speaking nation until now.  Still, a remarkable number of people in Belgium speak conversational English, so we haven’t felt too lost.

Peter and I grabbed a bite to eat at a small pita place.  The food was good, cheap (rare for Europe), and amazingly, they had wireless Internet.  On this trip, I have come to realize that if my hostel was a cement room with no sheets and a cold shower, this American would be happy as long as I had free-high speed Internet.  Belgians do a better job at securing their Internet than Americans do.  Which reminds me:  If I could bring one thing on this trip that I forgot last time, it would be a wireless adapter that supports the proper instruction set to hack WEP Internet keys.  Your Internet would be mine, Belgians.

Peter and I drove to Brugge today, which is quite a remarkable town – maybe even MORE Gothic than Gent, but in a different way.  More on that tomorrow.  Time to sample some Belgian beer.

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