In Gent at our hotel, the Ibis, next to the grand cathedral on the town square — our room on the corner with two windows facing the square. We have found a new hotel chain that we love. As a member of the Accor Hotels, which include Le Sofitel and the Ibis, you are guaranteed a room if you book within 24 hours, this is perfect for our unplanned travels and allows us so much freedom.
The cafes around the square are brimming with people, all of which have a beer in hand. We have moved from the land of wine to the land of beer. We stroll through this lovely city admiring the architecture.
We are wanting to eat something interesting and find a local to ask about fun places in which to indulge our culinary senses.
We find Restaurant Ornek and sit outside.
The waiter comes and August begins to speak to him in Turkish, he gives out a yelp and claps his hands, we are ensured a wonderful meal.
We order a most delicious plate of a combination of all sorts of salads and a beer. Oh my, the food is fantastic! We wander by all sorts of wonderful buildings on our way back to the hotel.
We awake on the second of May to find that it is a holiday and most shops are closed. We enjoy the necessary Belgium waffle…
Based upon the recommendations of our bartender at the hotel we now venture into the cathedral and find the entrance into the catacombs which she promises hold great and beautiful treasure. It is a bit creepy, as we are the only living humans in the building; however, down into the crypt we venture. It pays off! We are surrounded by beautiful art and incredible artifacts of the church. All of my favorite things: chalices by the dozen, so many monstrance the I begin to salivate, beautiful brocade robes with heavy threads of gold, mitred hats — oh my, I could live here!
We have had such a grand time exploring the city of Gent. The people here are so kind and helpful. Last evening we found an antique shop, filled with beautiful treasures and today we returned and now many of those treasures belong to us! The elderly gentleman who owns the shop was so pleased to have customers appreciate his items, which were simply amazing. We spent the evening enjoying wine and snacks in the hotel bar, chit chatting with our new friend the bar tender who guided our exploration.
We awoke early the next morning and dined on all sorts of wonderful local meats, cheeses and yogurt. Off in a cab to the train station, our cab driver a very pleasant young man who is getting ready to holiday in the Congo! How exciting! We are now on our train to Amsterdam. I hope the journey continues to be so pleasant…………please no poison poppies!