So I've written about the graffiti but here is the side of Gent everyone thinks of. Gent is often thought of as Gent's poorer cousin but while Bruges is picture perfect it's in some ways slightly too perfect. Gent felt more real, so while being gloriously medieval in parts it has embraced the 21st Century.
So this is your typical picture of Gent. A view of Graslei over looking the River Leie lined with picture perfect guild houses, some dating back to 12th Century. Each had intricate carvings depicted the guild's trade mark.
This for example is the Guild of the Free Boatmen
Here is the restaurant Chez Leontine which my friend recommended we ate at. Unfortunately we didn't realise that it would be closed for half of the week, ie. the half of the week we were in Gent so we didn't get to try it out. But don't worry, we found an alternative De Lieve so I could get my fill of 'Stoverij' which is the delicious Belgian stew served with fries - beautiful!
We did a lot of walking around Gent, mainly out of the touristy bits. I loved the style of this architecture which I am assuming was turn of the century but could be completely wrong! It's now a DIY store.
I loved the bold colours of this building
And another style again - love it!
Gent has numerous trams who's lines criss cross the cobbled streets though OH and I didn't take advantage of them as we loved the freedom of walking so we could see so much of this beautiful city.
Here is a side street with typical Netherlands architecture. There is something about this style that I adore.
This was St Peter's Abbey which is now a cultural centre. I was delighted to discover that there was an exhibition of the wonderful Vivian Maier, a street photographer I love. OH and I had been to see the film Finding Vivian Maier the week before our holiday, I certainly wasn't expecting to find her in Gent but was so pleased we did!
There was a lot of building work throughout the city. Here you can see the facade is being saved.
This was taken at another picturesque street called Kraanlei
Just look at the details on this building
We were staying in a district just outside of the city centre and we passed this imposing building every day. It was such a stark contrast tot the architecture from the centre but had it's own sublime beauty.
Gent's ability to combine the modern and old was fabulous. Here is a modern building close to the medieval town centre.
And we stumbled across this old cinema which is now a backpack hostel (we think)
Finally OH and I chuckled when we saw these polite signs about where dogs....
and people did there business
So there we have it. Gent in two posts. A wonderful city which I can't recommend strongly enough. Oh and the Visit Gent is my ideal website when you visit a new city. Has everything you want in a simple, easy but informative format. If only all tourist websites could be this good.....