viernes, 31 de octubre de 2014

BELGIUM: GHENT (GAND, GENT)


We bought the train tickets and we are on the train at 9:20am. We arrived at Ghent at 10:00 and got in the Starbucks for breakfast. We enjoyed a Chai Tea Latte Venti and a Muffin.

It was a bit cold but luckily the day was sunny. With the tram at 11am we were in the old town of Ghent. Once in the city center, Ghent is a city really grateful to visit because all the monuments are very close. I really liked the mix of Gothic churches and castles connected by canals and bridges.

These are the places and monuments we visited in Ghent:

  • Korenmarkt
  • St. Niklaaskerk
  • Masons' Guild Hall
  • Belfort
  • Mammeloker
  • St. Baafskathedraal
  • Duivelsteen
  • Stad Huis (city hall)
  • Gravensteen
  • Korenlei and Graslei
  • Groentenmarkt
  • Appelbrugparkje Bridge
  • St. Michielskerk and St. Michielsplein


Korenmarkt



Korenmarkt in Ghent
View from the entrance door of St. Niklaaskerk in Ghent. On the right begins the Korenmarkt. In this picture, the former post office, which now houses a shopping center


Sint Niklaaskerk



Sint Niklaaskerk in Ghent
Sint Niklaaskerk, or Saint Nicholas' church, in Ghent


Sint Niklaaskerk in Ghent
Apse of St. Niklaaskerk in Ghent



Masons' Guild Hall


Masons Guild Hall in Ghent
On the top of the steeped gable of the Masons' Guild Hall in Ghent, six dancers turn merrily with the wind


Mammeloker



Mammeloker in Ghent
Mammeloker beside the Belfort tower in Ghent



Belfort



Belfort tower in Ghent
Belfort tower in Ghent



Belfort Belfry in Ghent
Belfort Belfry from another point of view



Sint Baafskathedraal



Sint Baafskathedraal in Ghent
Apse of Sint Baafskathedraal in Ghent


Sint Baafskathedraal in Ghent
Sint Baafskathedraal, buit in gothic style, in Ghent


Adoration of the Mystic Lamb
The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb was painted by the Van Eyck brothers and you can see it inside the Sint Baafskathedraal



Sint Baafskathedraal in Ghent
Inside Sint Baafskathedraal in Ghent


Duivelsteen




Duivelsteen in Ghent
Duivelsteen, or Castle of Gerald the Devil, beside a canal in Ghent


Geeraard de Duivelsteen
One of the facades of Geeraard de Duivelsteen in Ghent


Gravensteen




Gravensteen in Ghent
Gravensteen, or Castle of the Counts, in Ghent


Gravensteen in Ghent
Beautiful view of the rear wall of Gravensteen beside the canal in Ghent


Typical cone of fries we ate in Ghent



Kraanlei



Kraanlei in Ghent
Kraanlei in Ghent


Graslei




Graslei in Ghent
Graslei beside the Kanaal Gent-Brugge in Ghent


Groentenmarkt




Groentenmarkt square in Ghent
Groentenmarkt square in Ghent



Shopping Street in Ghent
From Groentenmarkt you can walk along the pedestrian and shopping Langemunt street




Sint Michielsplein and Sint Michielskerk



Sint Niklaaskerk and Belfort tower in Ghent
View of Sint Niklaaskerk and the Belfort tower beside Cataloniëstraat from Sint Michielsplein



Sint Michielskerk in Ghent
Sint Michielskerk in Ghent



At 4am we caught the train back to Brussels. After buying the train tickets to Bruges at Gare Centrale for the following day, and the breakfast and dinner in a Carrefour we arrived at the hotel. This time we left at 7pm heading towards the Grand Place to dinner at Chez Leon: potage du jour, avec moules frites and prawn croquettes. After dinner, to the Delirium Tremens to enjoy a deserved beer.



Delirium Tremens bar in Brussels
Enjoying a beer in Delirium Tremens bar in Brussels


Grand Place in Brussels
Grand Place in Brussels lit at night



Besides Ghent, in Belgium we visited the following places too:




  • Day 1 - Brussels
  • Day 2 - Ghent
  • Day 3 - Bruges
  • Day 4 - Brussels




  • Finally, other countries and cities I have already visited are:


    jueves, 30 de octubre de 2014

    BELGIUM: FIRST DAY IN BRUSSELS



    We landed in Brussels at 9:15 am. We arrived at the airport train station after walking 30 minutes. After waiting 10 minutes and a 15 minute train journey we arrived at La Gare Centrale. After a 20 minute walk a bit uncomfortable (suitcase, stairs) we arrived at our Aparthotel located between the Royal Palace and the European Parliament in an office area of the city.


    In Brussels we visited the following places:


    Day 1: Brussels (Brussel - Bruxelles)



    • Manneken Pis + Waffle 1€
    • Comic Route

    • Grand Place (Grote Markt)
      • Hôtel de Ville (Stadhuis)
      • Maison du Roi

    • La Bourse de Bruxelles
    • Place and Église de Sainte Catherine (Noordzee Restaurant)
    • Theatre Royal de la Monnaie
    • Galleries de Saint Hubert
    • Rue des Bouchers, Jeanneke Pis and Delirium Café
    • Cathedral of St. Michiel et St. Gudule
    • Église du Sablon and Petit Sablon
    • Palace Royal


    In the fourth day of our trip in Belgium we also visited in Brussels:


    • Atomium
    • Chinese Pavilion and Japanese Tower in Laeken Park
    • Parc du Cinquantenaire
    • European Parliament and Leopold Park

    We left our luggage at the hotel around 11 am and we went right to the city center, where we arrived shortly before 11:30 am. We spent the morning visiting the Grand Place and the surrounding streets, as well as the Manneken Pis.


    Day 1


    Brussels in Belgium
    One of the cobbled streets  near the Grand Place of Brussels




    Comic Route


    Comic Route in Brussels
    A exemple of the Comic Route in Brussels: Tintin and Haddock Captain painted near the Manneken Pis

    Manneken Pis


    Manneken Pis in Brussels
    There are always a lot of people near the Manneken Pis in Brussels


    Manneken Pis in Brussels
    A closer view of Manneken Pis in Brussels


    Grand Place in Brussels



    City Hall of Brussels
    Main facade of the City Hall of Brussels



    Grand Place in Brussels
    Grand Place and Hôtel de Ville (city hall) in Brussels




    Maison du Roi on the Grand Place in Brussels
    Maison du Roi on the Grand Place in Brussels


    Maison du Roi on the Grand Place in Brussels
    Flowers on the Grand Place and, behind, La Maison du Roi


    Maison du Roi in Brussels
    Belgian flag on the facade of  La Maison du Roi on the Grand Place of Brussels



    The day was gray, cold and even began to sparkle. From the Grand Place we went to Place Sainte Catherine. On the way we see the Jeanneken Pis and La Bourse. We had lunch in the same place in the fast food restaurant North Sea a delicious soup of the day and a crab burger.


    La Bourse de Bruxelles



    Bourse de Bruxelles
    La Bourse de Bruxelles (Stock Exchange building in Brussels)


    Église de Sainte Catherine


    Église de Sainte Catherine in Brussels
    Église de Sainte Catherine in Brussels


    Sainte Catherine Square in Brussels
    Sainte Catherine Square in Brussels. We had lunch in Noordzee restaurant



    After having lunch we continue our journey to the Cathedral of St. Gudule et St. Michiel. Fortunately the day became lovely and it was a very pleasant sun.


    Theatre Royal de la Monnaie



    Theatre Royal de la Monnaie
    Theatre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels





    Old town of Brussels
    Pedestrian street near the Grand Place in Brussels



    Delirium Café


    Delirium Café in Brussels
    At the end of this backstreet you can see the Jeanneke Pis and enjoy a beer in Delirium Café


    Jeanneke Pis


    Jeanneke Pis in Brussels
    Jeanneke Pis in Brussels


    Galleries Saint Hubert



    Galleries Saint Hubert in Brussels
    Galleries Saint Hubert in Brussels



    Cathedral of Brussels



    Cathedral of  Brussels
    Cathedrale des Saints Michiel et Gudule in Brussels


    Inside the Cathedral of Brussels
    Inside the Cathedral of Brussels


    Cathedral of  Brussels
    Stained glass window of the cathedral of  Brussels




    Our first day in Brussels ends with a visit to the Church of Notre Dame du Sablon, to the Petit Sablon, a small park next to it, and to the Royal Palace, located near our hotel. We got our Aparthotel a little tired towards 5 pm.


    Église du Grand Sablon


    Église du Grand Sablon
    Église du Grand Sablon in Brussels


    Park of Petit Sablon in Brussels


    Park of Petit Sablon in Brussels
    Sculpture of Peter Pan in the park of Petit Sablon in Brussels



    Royal Palace in Brussels


    Royal Palace in Brussels
    Royal Palace in Brussels



            After a break we went to eat something at 9pm with the surprise of nearby restaurants were all closed. We approached the Gare Centrale and there we could have a quick dinner. We were actually too tired to approach the lively Grand Place.



    Mussels in Brussels
    The mussels we enjoyed in the restaurant Chez Leon in Brussels

    Grand Place in Brussels


    Grand Place in Brussels
    Grand Place in Brussels at night




    Besides Brussels, in Belgium we visited the following places too:




    Finally, other countries and cities I have already visited are:

    miércoles, 29 de octubre de 2014

    BELGIUM: BRUSSELS, GHENT AND BRUGES

    In late October we spent four days in Belgium visiting Brussels, Ghent and Bruges. When I was 17 years old I did a trip to Paris - Bruges - Amsterdam with the High School and I remember Bruges with special affection, though vaguely. This is why I wanted to come back to this town and visit Ghent too, of which I had heard very well, and Brussels.

    We tried to visit Antwerp too, but we realized that we had not enough time. In late October the days are quite short. So we decided to visit quietly only these three cities, enjoying their charm. Even at the end we wished we could have one more day to see Brussels more quietly.

    We spent the first and last days in Brussels for convenience and logistics. We spent the two complete days in Ghent and Bruges. Fortunately, the weather forecast for both days was very good. Otherwise we had visited Bruges the day with better weather forecast.





    Bruges in Belgium
    Bruges in Belgium


    There is a 50% discount on train tickets on weekends, so we went on Friday to Ghent and on saturday to Bruges because Bruges is furthest away and the train ticket is more expensive. By visiting only two cities the Rail Pass was more expensive than taking advantage of the discount weekend.


    Below you can see the planning we followed in this trip:




  • Day 1 - Brussels
  • Day 2 - Ghent
  • Day 3 - Bruges
  • Day 4 - Brussels



  • Day 1 - Brussels




    • Manneken Pis
    • Grand Place
    • Jeanneken Pis
    • Royal Palace

    Day 2 - Ghent


    • Korenmarkt
    • St. Niklaaskerk
    • Belfort
    • Mammeloker
    • St. Baafskathedraal
    • Duivelsteen
    • Stad Huis (city hall)
    • Gravensteen
    • Korenlei and Graslei
    • Appelbrugparkje Bridge
    • St. Michielskerk and St. Michielsplein


    Day 3 - Bruges


    • Canals of Bruges
    • Minnewater Park and Swan Lake
    • Hospital of Saint John
    • Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of our Lady)
    • The most beautiful place in Bruges
    • RozenHoedKaai in Bruges
    • The most photographied place in Bruges
    • Burg Square
    • Markt Square
    • Belfort Tower



    Day 4 - Brussels


    • Atomium
    • Laeken Park: Japanese Tower and Chinese Pavilion
    • Parc du Cinquantenaire
    • European Parliament
    • Grand Place



    Brussels (Bruxelles, Brussel)




    Manneken Pis in Brussels
    Manneken Pis in Brussels



    City Hall of Brussels
    City Hall of Brussels


    Maison du Roi and Grand Place in Brussels
    Maison du Roi and Grand Place in Brussels


    Grand Place in Brussels
    Colourful flowers on the Grand Place in Brussels


    Brussels in Belgium
    One of the streets around the Grand Place in Brussels


    Jeanneken Pis in Brussels
    Jeanneken Pis in Brussels


    Royal Palace in Brussels
    Royal Palace in Brussels 





    Ghent (Gand, Genk)



    Korenmarkt in Ghent
    Korenmarkt in Ghent


    St Niklaaskerk in Ghent
    Sint Niklaaskerk in Ghent


    St Niklaaskerk in Ghent
    Apse of the gothic church of Sint Niklaaskerk



    Belfort Tower in Ghent
    Belfort Tower in Ghent


    Sint Baafskathedraal in Ghent
    Sint Baafskathedraal in Ghent


    Geeraard de Duivelsteen in Ghent
    Geeraard de Duivelsteen in Ghent


    Gravensteen in Ghent
    Gravensteen in Ghent


    Kraanlei in Ghent
    Kraanlei in Ghent


    Graslei in Ghent
    Graslei in Ghent


    The three towers of Ghent from Sint Michielshelling bridge
    The three towers of Ghent from Sint Michielshelling bridge


    Sint Niklaaskerk in Ghent from Sint Michielshelling bridge
    Church of Sint Niklaaskerk in Ghent from Sint Michielshelling bridge



    Bruges (Bruges, Brugge)




    Canal in Bruges
    Our first image of the canals of Bruges shortly after leaving the train station


    Bruges in Belgium
    Beside this canal we walked along a promenade among trees. A beautiful place between the train station and the town of Bruges


    Minnewater park in Bruges
    Swans in Minnewater park in Bruges


    Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk in Bruges
    Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of our Lady) in Bruges


    Canal in Bruges
    Beautiful place beside the apse of the church of our lady in Bruges



    RozenHoedKaai in Bruges
    RozenHoedKaai in Bruges




    Belfort tower in Bruges
    The most photographied place in Bruges


    Burg square in Bruges
    City Hall of Bruges in Burg square


    Markt square in Bruges
    Colourful houses in Markt square in Bruges


    Markt square in Bruges
    Markt square in Bruges


    Belfort tower from Markt in Bruges
    Belfort tower from Markt in Bruges



    Brussels


    Atomium in Brussels
    Atomium in Brussels


    Japanese Tower in Brussels
    Japanese Tower in Brussels


    Chinese Pavilion in Brussels
    Chinese Pavilion in Laeken Park in Brussels


    Chinese Pavilion in Brussels
    Detail of the chinese pavilion in Laeken Park in Brussels



    Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels
    Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels


    European Parliament in Brussels
    European Parliament beside Leopold Park in Brussels


    Grand Place in Brussels
    We went to the Grand Place because we wanted to finish our trip there enjoying a delicious waffle


    Grand Place in Brussels
    Maison du Roi beside the Grand Place in Brussels



    - Unfortunately we didn't have enough time to visit the following places in Brussels:


    • Comic route
    • Zinneke Pis
    • Les Marolles
    • Bar À la mort subite 


    - Typical dishes we tried in Belgium:


    • Waffles: with strawberries, or with banana or with white sugar
    • Cone of fries with andalousian sauce
    • Prawn croquettes
    • Marinated mussels
    • Soups (Potages du jour): All the soups I tried were delicious


    - Train and metro:


    • 50% discount on train tickets on weekends.
    • Bruges 14€ Ghent 8,5€, so: 8,5x4 + 0,5x14x4= 62€ for two people.
    • Rail Pass: 76€.
    • Metro :

      • 10 tickets card:14€
      • 24h card (one person): 7€


    • Airport: Train ticket 8,5€. 15-20 minutes from Gare Centrale to Zaventem Airport.
    • Ghent: Train from Brussels + tramway from train station to the old town.
    • Bruges: Train from Brussels + 15 minutes walk.


    - Hotel


    • Adagio Access Bruxelles Europe Aparthotel:


      • Address: Rue de l'Industrie, 12 (metro Trône or Arts Loi).
      • Quite well but 15 minutes far from the old town.
      • Metro: Trône or Arts-Loi (5 minutes walk).


    - Restaurants and bars:
    • Restaurant Chez Leon (near Jeanneke Pis)
    • Bar Delirium Tremens (near Jeanneke Pis)
    • Waffles: Near  Manneken pis


    - Websites for planning our trip:
    • Hotel: www.booking.com
    • Trains: www.sncb.com

    - Places to visit and restaurants:
    • lamaletadeglo.blogspot.com.es
    • www.ungatoenmimaleta.com


    Finally, other countries and cities I have already visited are: