SJ on the Move

Friday, December 01, 2006


We awoke the next morning in Ghent, which is a very charming Gothic town in Belgium. We took the streetcar from our hotel into the center of town to take in the sights.

Ghent's main tourist attractions are the Belfry Tower, St. Bavo's Cathedral, and Castle Gravensteen. Unfortunately, the Belfry is closed in the winter - as I am sure it affords a great view of the city.

St. Bavo's Cathedral was really quite stunning. It is one of the nicest and well preserved cathedrals we have seen in Europe. When we visited, we were also treated to an impromptu organ recital. It was absolutely amazing. The organ is spread throughout much of the cathedral, so the music comes at you from all angles. It's like THX, but from hundreds of years ago.

Castle Gravensteen is also quite a treat, as it really looks like the kind of medieval castle you see in movies and story books, etc.

After spending the day in Ghent, we took another short train ride further West to Brugge. We arrived in the evening, so we had a bit of time to head into the center of town and check out the action. They had set up a large skating rink in the market square that was surrounded by the Christmas market. All of it was decorated with lights, which made for a really beautiful setting. The only downside was that it was a bit chilly and damp, so we couldn't spend too much time outside.


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