It was much later than we had planned by the time we managed to get out of Brussels. After circling around and around for hours – lost, we were tired, hungry and cranky.
It was after midnight by the time we pulled into Ghent, (only an hour from Brussels) for an unplanned and un-guaranteed (it was after midnight) food stop.
We parked behind an old Cathedral. Ghent is full of them, so I took a few photos to make sure we could find our way back.
We would discover that we had ended up directly in the heart of 13th century Ghent and were actually parked behind thousand-year old St. Bavo Cathedral.
Being from Canada where we are impressed if something is 100 years old, I was entirely unable to process this fact, and very much in awe – as the bulk of my photos show.
We could hear music in the close distance, through a cobblestone laneway or two. As luck would have it, we had arrived just in time for the end of ‘Ghent Festival’.
It was really something to walk through the Medieval quarter, surrounded on every side by imposing dark stone buildings from the 1200’s, neon lights glaring while bass from the ‘techno’ music being played for those gathered reverberated throughout the stone laden streets.
The combination of 13th century architecture with our after dark arrival surely added to the formidable (and enjoyable!) ‘creepy’ feeling Ghent gave us.
We spent 2 1/2 hours wandering through the streets, taking photos (capturing orbs), enjoying architecture and forgetting about food. The only thing we didn’t do to top off our eerie late night stroll was visit a cemetery, but we would do that later in the UK.
I couldn’t help but ramble on about everything I knew about the Middle Ages as we walked through the area – poor nutrition and sanitation, average life span of 30-40 years, most people illiterate, impoverished and unable to travel further than their village walls.
It was easy to imagine life back then while surrounded by architecture of that time, minus the bustle of modern day Ghent. Again, I recommend the night tour!
Now we were really starving and finally ready to do some hunting and gathering. With our fingers crossed, we focussed on the task at hand – food…
Many more photos in the slideshow.
- Life in the Middle Ages
- 13th century
- Belfry of Ghent
- St. Nicolas Cathedral
- St. Bavo Cathedral
- Festivals in Ghent