Setting Off On Our 2015 Euro Adventure
Trains, planes, and taxis. It's been a long journey through Dublin and Amsterdam, but we have arrived in the historic town of Gent, Belgium at last.
Our flight into Dublin was easy, but our continuing flight to Amsterdam had a layover of five hours. This is unusual for Aer Lingus and not what we originally booked, but the airline was concerned we wouldn't arrive in time to meet the early connecting flight and changed the departure time. After many laps around the international concourse to stay awake, the rest of our trip which included the high speed Thalys was easy.
After a short nap, we explored the old town. The historic sites were not open so late in the day, but we wandered the side streets and admired the architectural nuggets. Beautifully restored canal houses line the canal in front of our hotel and tall stone church bell towers reach for the sky. Our hotel room is on the third floor with a balcony overlooking the canals.
We learned that a large festival just ended in Gent and it seems as if some of the restaurant owners took the week off in preparation for European holiday which begins this weekend. Following our Rick Steves' guide we wound our way through alleys only to find each restaurant was closed. We spotted an atmospheric restaurant called Cafe Amadeus which turned out to be a lot of fun. Inside we felt as if we were in a building from the early 20th century which included many art nouveau items such as mirrors, chandeliers, and stained glass. The restaurant's specialty much to our surprise was spare ribs and baked potatoes with curry which were really tasty.
The town is quiet now, but we can see the lights from our room. We'll spend tomorrow exploring the museums and churches.