It was a cool blustery day here in Gent, Belgium with occasional showers so with our Gent passes in hand, we set out to explore the city's museums.
Just outside what was once the old city lies a nicely restored castle from the 12th century. There's not a lot to see inside, but it was fun to walk on the stone walls of the castle overlooking the city. The castle houses a torture museum. For those with ghoulish curiosity, it would be interesting and informative, but I only gave it a quick walk through. Above each instrument was a print from long ago showing how it was used. I scurried out of that room in a hurry. In another room was a powerful and moving black and white photo exhibition called Departures showing the faces of people at the end of their life with their story. While not uplifting, it was well done.
Late in the afternoon we visited two churches. The Church of St. Nicholas had an enormous drum type music wheel from 1659. We watched it play the bells heard throughout the city every hour.
The highlight to any trip to Gent is a visit to St. Bravos Cathedral to see the magnificent altarpiece Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. It was painted by the Flemish painter Jan Van Eyck and his brother Hubert in the 15th century. It was the first church painting to show people as they really are rather than angels with wings. The colors are stunning. It was the first art work of note done using oil paint. While we were in the church, the organist was practicing for a concert. I love organ concerts and find them very moving.
Dinner tonight was at Balls and Glory. They feature salads and creative meatballs or veggie balls. I had a delicious salad with mint and couscous. We spent some time strolling the streets along the canals. With the city lit up against a backdrop of a full moon, all cameras were aimed at the skyline as we headed back to our room, the end of a perfect day.