We left beautiful Bruges about 11:30 on Tuesday, and had a short 1/2 hour train ride to Gent.
When we pulled in to the Gent station it was raining sideways. We decided we'd just relax over a cup of coffee, and found a Starbucks right at the station. We sipped a cup of coffee and munched on a muffin while waiting for the rain to let up a bit. Soon it was looking much better, so we made our way to the taxi stand. I gave the driver the printed address and a map. He looked at it for a few minutes, and then got out of the car to consult with his fellow cabbies. Maybe he was new to Gent?
We set off from the station--the traffic was awful, and I think he drove around in circles several times, all the while sighing and grunting. Finally he pulled over and fired up his GPS on his phone--and eventually we pulled up in front our apartment. He was a little grumpy! Not our problem--he'd quoted us a flat fee of 8.50--and we were happy to pay it!
We are very happy with our apartment. It's spacious, well furnished and spotlessly clean. The location is great--it's in an upscale shopping area (not that we do any upscale shopping!), yet close to "Old Town". The only drawback-it's on the 2nd floor and no elevator, which normally would not be a problem, but the stairs are steep and winding with no handrail. I'm a little pokey going up and down with my very stiff knee and sprained ankle!
The entrance is in a tiny alley way off a main street. If we'd not stayed in many apartments in our travels, this probably would have scared me away--but it's really quite normal for apartments in European cities.
Bedroom area--the bed is super comfy. The fresh flowers were a nice touch.
I like the old (non-functioning) fireplace:
This design on the front is interesting--maybe some sort of trade sign motif?
Huge, roomy bathroom, the WC is in a separate room. There's even a washer!
The view from our windows:
We were warmly welcomed by one of the owners/managers, Wendy. The apartment wasn't quite ready for us--she was still cleaning. No problem, we just left our bags and went out to explore our neighborhood, have some lunch and find a grocery store to stock up on a few necessities. We headed in the direction of Old Town, just a couple of blocks away. It's a very pretty and interesting area:
We found a spot for lunch--and just in time, too. A big, dark cloud rolled in and it rained hard while we were having our lunch. Needless to say, we didn't choose a table outside! We each had a bowl of broccoli soup and shared a goat cheese salad. Guess who chose the salad? David is seriously fixated on goat cheese salads! I'll admit they are pretty delicious.
Finally the rain slowed down a bit, we paid our tab and walked out into the square. We were right near one of the main attractions in Gent, St. Bavo's Cathedral, so we thought this was a great time for a visit.
Here's a brief history of the Cathedral, courtesy of Wikipedia: