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A Boat Tour of Ghent!

After our brewery tour, our kind hosts took us to their house for a relaxing lunch in their back yard.  Is there anything better than being invited home by new friends?  I think not.  Especially when you are still getting to know a new place– there’s nothing like local hospitality.  After lunch and a much-needed espresso break, it was time to check out Ghent!  We were all thrilled when our friends suggested that we see the city via boat tour along the oldest sector’s waterways.  The weather was absolutely beautiful, hot even– and being near the water was the best thing I could imagine.


Everyone else had the same idea, and downtown was packed.  I loved the feeling of being a part of it all.
What made it even better was being there with friends. Jeff and Henry*.  Something we love about Henry is that he always speaks with a smile in his voice. Elena* and me… We’ve been having fun talking wedding plans– they are getting married soon! And here are Amelia and Anna*. This was such a sweet pairing– they have five years age difference and don’t speak the same language, but their affection for each other has been instant and true!

Anyway, onto the boat ride!  We had a guide who effortlessly spoke English, Spanish, Flemish, French, and German– with feeling— as he described all of the key buildings.  I wish I remembered it all, but it I will just show you. This is what we saw:
What would it be like to live behind one of these windows?…
A real castle!  This is Gravensteen Castle, built in 1180.
It was a beautiful day.  The weather was perfect, the city was absolutely beautiful.  And spending time with new friends, getting to know them and their city at the same time was really, really wonderful.  We really didn’t want to say goodby to them, and we certainly were not glad to leave Belgium.

But we have good news!  We will be going back in less than two weeks to celebrate Henry and Elena’s wedding!  Hurray!

Have you been to Ghent?  What did you love?

*Yes, I have changed the names of our friends, for their privacy.

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11 Responses to A Boat Tour of Ghent!

  1. Anonymous August 21, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    Looking at these pictures is like reliving the boat and bike tour we took with your brother Peter and Amanda up and down the Meuse four years ago… Scenes like some of these from the boat, then riding bikes through towns and countryside, exploring castle grounds, etc…

    I do wish we had seen Ghent, it is such a nice city! Thanks so much for posting all these beautiful pictures, it almost feels like we had been there!
    –Dad

    • Ariana August 24, 2012 at 9:09 am #

      That boat and bike tour sounded so amazing! It would be a really fun thing for Jeff, Amelia and me to do when Amelia is older. Ghent was really beautiful. And “it almost feels like we had been there!” is my favorite kind of comment,since that’s my goal! :)

    • Ariana August 24, 2012 at 9:10 am #

      By the way, how was the food on the boat?

    • ShackelMom March 27, 2013 at 10:55 am #

      The food was breakfast, and a lunch each person packed, made from breakfast… Good the first couple days. We were on our own for supper in each local town where we stopped for the night. some of those suppers were wonderful!

      I’m with Dad, it looked so much like your pictures! And our boat captain was a history buff, in the extreme, so we learned a lot! :-)

  2. Great Aunt Gretchen August 22, 2012 at 12:32 am #

    Wow- so beautiful–almost magical! And to share with with new friends, is so special!

    • Ariana August 24, 2012 at 9:11 am #

      Yes– that really made it extra-special. We are so used to it just being the three of us, and we like each other well enough that it’s always great. But it was SO nice to have some companionship!

  3. Marisa August 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    I still think it is so marvelous that you have made these lovely new friends. What a perfect bit of serendipity to have run into one another in the first place. And Ghent – wow! It is beautiful. Your pictures are really lovely. Ghent has definitely moved up my list of to-go places in Europe. You are just so lucky to be living so close and to have these travel opportunities at your fingertips – what I wouldn’t give for that proximity! I am excited to say that I booked my flight to Europe for this fall. I am headed to Bologna and Verona, Italy then on to Bavaria and then a flight to Mallorca Spain. Seeing these European travel photos of yours gets me all the more excited!!

    • Ariana August 24, 2012 at 9:13 am #

      Marisa, if you visit Belgium, it’s so easy to see so many great places, since the country is so small. And your itinerary sounds SO wonderful! Where are you going to be in Bavaria? I think one of your very first comments on my blog was about Regensburg. We would love to make a visit back to Amberg, of course. Coming through England at all? :)

  4. Marisa August 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    It was indeed about Regensburg – my favorite city in Germany!!! And I love that you remember that – it may have been my *very* first comment too! We will be in Weilheim wich is southwest of Munich – if you have any ideas about revisiting Germany please schedule it for October!! 😉 And I SO wish I were coming to England – you know it has my heart!! Next time I am there I am making a point to come and visit you! 😀

  5. Edward March 11, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    It’s a great site to see. That will help for improvisation of me. Will definitely marked as Bookmark Hire a Yacht in Dubai

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