Ah, Kerouac ~ another great walker and intrepid urban explorer! I did think about you at the belfry, knowing your talent at finding great tall places to climb and enjoy. As a person who has turned all kinds of readers of Anyport on to the pleasures of Belgium, you owe it to yourself to discover Ghent.
Well, there is an elevator inside and of course I wouldn't push you out onto the viewing platform, Bjd. I'm so glad you're enjoying this and know you'd love Ghent.
It's time for some low-key adventure. This was one of those things I did for a reason that didn't turn out as expected, but was a pure delight. Both Bruges and Ghent are supposed to be wonderful because of night-time lighting, deemed a "must-see". As a person who's lived most of her life in the central time zone, it's hard for me to get my head around how late it finally gets dark in northern Europe. Thus I set out to see lit-up Ghent in what was surely night, but still with a sky full of light. The vaunted night lighting failed to impress, but before that I got pleasantly lost and luxuriated in the low sun warmly setting Ghent aglow.
An evening ritual of students and other young people sitting at the water's edge ~
St. Michael's bridge and church, shown earlier in the thread and here seen from another angle ~
Our friend the belfry towering over all ~
And now, in the "what was I thinking?" department, some Belgian fast food ~
I'd seen people stopping at little stands & at this kind of open-front place for stuff to eat & had even enjoyed a mystery object from a street stand. Let's see what they have. My, isn't that tempting? I opted for the thing that looked like bratwurst in the stupid belief it would taste like bratwurst ~
This was my supper. It was even worse than it looks and I threw almost all of it away. I wasn't hungry though, as it effectively killed any appetite I had ~
The Masons Guild Hall, built in the 16th century atop a 13th century cellar. Lost & forgotten behind a later facade,it was accidentally rediscovered in 1976 during renovation work. The dancing figures by Ghent-born singer & sculptor Walter de Buck move in the wind.
The dark side of St. Nicholas church ~
Still light, but what light!
Wandering further away from the old town, I think I'm somewhere near part of the university ~
Built between 1911 & 1914, Vooruit complex was originally the festival and art center of the Ghent-based labor movement. A symbol of the socialist movement, it was a place where workers could eat, drink and enjoy culture at affordable costs ~ source
A place of less highfaluting culture ~
Darkness may finally fall!
This beautiful bridge leads to a large elevated space around the Waalse Krook library ~
And then it was too dark for pictures, plus I had to find my way back. This concludes my visit to a wonderful city which I hope to see again one day. For now I'll just skip across this ghost crossing and say ~ The End ~
Thanks, Bixa. These are great and really make me want to go and have a look at Ghent. You were certainly lucky with the weather last summer because northern Europe had much more heat and sunshine than usual.
Yeah, pretty laid back...until I see an injustice being perpetrated, then I arc up and the weasels soon see the error of their ways. It helps to be in a marginal electorate for State and Federal seats. The MPs seem to hear us little people better and things get done to correct bad situations. We children of the 60s spent so much time and effort promoting "Peace". You can't have peace until there is justice...simple.
**yawn**...back to being easy-going again.
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]
Trying to get this thread back to respectability, I must again commend Bixa for her extraordinary photography. Having wandered around a number of places with her, I am in total admiration of the end result because it usually looks to me at the time as though she is taking the same trite and tawdry pictures as I, but once she posts the results, I always see that I cannot hold a candle to her. I'm sure that you have all noticed that she also posts the informational details about the artistic displays whereas I do not possess sufficient cultural references to even think about doing such things.
If I were to look for one reproach concerning this outstanding display, it would be that Bixa only showed us wonderful things in Ghent and not much about ordinary life (if it is possible for the population of Ghent to have an ordinary life). But of course this is simply to encourage her to return for a second photo session.
As for the recent allusions by other members, it looks to me that New Orleans and Montréal have been proposed for the next meet-up in addition to Oaxaca. We may have to open a poll on the subject.
I am deeply flattered and gratified by your kindness, Kerouac, but cannot agree that my output is better in any way than yours. It was a nice thing to say, but I am shocked at the very idea. , anyway.
You do bring up a perpetually frustrating point about all travel, which is that niggle of knowing the tourist is not seeing life as it's lived in the visited place. Even staying as long as I did in London and in Amsterdam didn't give any true insight into daily life there. Brief stays in congenial places do whet the appetite for return visits which might illuminate further. I would say that one delightful side-effect of belonging to Anyport is the duty one feels about taking pictures. That is an impetus to look harder and to find subjects beyond the expected landmarks.
That makes a great deal of sense, LaGatta. Vacationing is sort of living in a bubble, whereas a work or study situation would introduce one to to the real life concerns and attitudes of the citizens.
Just to introduce some real-life stuff, I googled "ghent in the news" and found a page devoted to that under the umbrella of Flanders News. (There is also one for Antwerp & probably other towns.) I shouldn't laugh, but the first two items contradict each other rather dramatically: www.vrt.be/vrtnws/en/categories/ghent/