We circled around Ghent looking for food, not expecting to find much, being willing to settle upon convenience store snacks if need be, when we cross ‘The Belfry’.
Belfry towers were common in Flemish medieval cities, used as watch towers, treasuries and symbols of power. This one, built 700 years ago, was particularly ornate and well lit – which made for a nice effect at night.
There were plenty of people hanging around the canal, drinking, singing, holding hands and even a few swimming! The atmosphere was festive and joyous – everyone smiling and friendly.
Apparently Ghent is the ‘hipster’ capital of Belgium. I can believe that – with lots of fashionable, artsy looking young people milling about – of course our opinions were formed between the hours of midnight and 3am!
Luckily we came across a kiosk serving poutine – with every kind of topping possibility imaginable. The first thing I noticed was a Canadian flag amongst the dozens on its exterior, and like many other tourists before us I am sure, we immediately felt welcomed.
As soon as we approached the door to enter, the staff turned the volume up on the music already playing through the shop, and started dancing!
Of course (much to my husbands embarrassment), I had to join. We had a little 3 minute ‘dance off’, punctuated with clapping, cheers and yelling before ordering our food.
I told them I had to photograph the winners for posterity sake, and though they didn’t fully understand what I was saying, they happily agreed.
Not something I usually do (take photos of random people) – but I wanted to remember how hilarious they were. They really made our night.
Additional photos in the slideshow.
- The Belfry Tower in Ghent
- Travel Thursday – Ghent, Belgium (roadtravelplanner.wordpress.com)
- VIDEO: Belgium’s Ghent Altarpiece restored (bbc.co.uk)
- Ghent – new holiday tips (guardian.co.uk)