At Ghent’s famous Belltower we bought a three-day museum pass, even though we were only planning to be there for two days.
This resulted in a rather over-museumed first day, and a relatively late start to our afternoon occupations of beer and food. First the museums:
The Main Cathedral
Gravensteen Kasteel (Castle)
The castle itself is medieval and therefore quite plain with the typical castle crennellations. To make it more interesting they have turned it into a medieval torture museum, with lots of instruments of torture. The prison portions are truly horrible: a deep pit, permanently cold and unsanitary in which to die a slow death; a narrow slot where you are hung by your armpits until you expire. Brutal.
Spooky Gravensteen castle. As soon as we finished the castle we were delighted by the sun coming out. But that one little bit of sun meant that the entire population of Ghent came out in full force, and occupied every single table of every single restaurant and bar. Even at 4:00 there was a 40 minute wait for food. With such a long a wait we settled for just a Kreik each. Kreik is a cherry beer, perfect for a sunny Ghent afternoon.
Then we rushed off to the Belltower again, trying for some shots with late afternoon light. When we finally got around to dinner we were starving, causing our usual restaurant radar to be off. Al’s steak was jiggly in a way I have never seen a steak jiggle before, and his frites were underdone. My salad had huge slabs of perfect brie, blue grapes, strawberries, watercress and way too much lardon, but overall it wasn’t too bad. The restaurant shall remain nameless, mostly because I didn’t write down the name.
Our beer choices were better – I see that although the Kasteel Brun was not a fave, it went well with my greasy salad. Afterwards we wandered around taking some night shots and happened upon a bar where we both had an Omer beer (tasting notes above).
Then we called it a night. After all, according to our museum pass, we had a ton more museums to visit the next day!
Ghent, Day 2, Part 1: SMAK, the Mystic Lamb, a canal cruise and asparagus velouté soup!
Our trip was roughly based on the Beer Route through Belgium, and here it is so far.
Some visits to a few traditional bars in Brussels:
- a 300 year-old bar in Brussels
- a la Becasse, a traditional pub in Brussels
- a la Mort Subite, a historic brasserie in Brussels
More on fairytale Bruges (Brugge):
- lunch at the Cambrinus
- tour of the Brewery in Bruges
- t’ Brugs Beertje in Bruges
- dinner at the Cambrinus
- warming up a chilly day in Bruges
- the Verdi B&B
Ramblings on beer, food and museums in Ghent:
- beer and museums on our first day in Ghent
- beer, food and museums on our second day in Ghent – Part 1
- Ghent SMAK exhibit, the conceptual Bulgarian artist Nedko Solakov
- beer, food and museums on our second day in Ghent – Part 2