Friday, December 08, 2006

ghent

i know, i know, it's been a while. but we STILL don't have internet. sigh. at least it is giving me a good opportunity to talk with adam in front of our fireplace, do crossword puzzles (has really helped me regain my vocabulary after i got west nile this summer), and write -- with pen and paper -- letters back home. so it's all good. and then, before i know it, we'll have internet again and i'll forget all about how "inconvenienced" i've been the past two months.


i wanted to share some pictures of ghent.


it's the prettiest town i've ever seen. ever. and i've been from beijing to san francisco to naples to d.c. to paris to london to moscow to... you get the point. ghent is the prettiest town i've ever been to.


adam had a conference there over thanksgiving weekend, and i was free, so we went together. we slept in an old, beautiful monastary:


















we ate waffles and drank beer:




adam is only wearing one shoe in this picture, because when he ordered his special beer, they ordered him to give them one of his shoes. i don't know if it's a house-tradition, or if it's to keep the tourists from walking off with the cool glasses.

the beer hall we went to had over 250 kinds of belgian beers. lekker!


we got a spontaneous walking tour of the city from a gentleman who grew up in ghent. he remembers being liberated from the germans at the age of 8, after wwII ended. he told us all about his city and walked to a store to show us a plaque that commemorated the signing of the treaty of ghent:






we went to a castle that dated back to the 11th century. one of the more-cool things that day was a neat kid about 12 years old or so who TOTALLY reminded me of my brother, victor. everytime that we saw him, he was explaining something to his parents, about the castle. he was all, "this is this and that is that and over there you will find whatever and over there is a something or another and around the corner is blank and they would use that for whatever when they needed to blah blah blah..." i wish i knew more dutch because i would have loved to have followed him around to get a tour of the place. it just reminded me of something that vic would do, because he's totally into medieval history too (ps, vic, if you know anything about "gravensteen" in ghent, post a comment on this blog and educate us stupid folk):














and just generally enjoyed the lovely architecture and quiet streets in this old town:











oh yeah, one more thing -- it was thanksgiving while we were there, so we went out to eat at a restaurant that served apple pie. there wasn't really a place to get mashed potatoes, and forget turkey and sweet potatoes because they are virtually impossible to find here. but we ate a lekker meal at a romantic little italian place and then polished it off with authentic belgian apple pie and cinnamon ice cream!:

3 comments:

Valerie said...

The shoe thing is a custom in many beer halls when you order a beer that comes in a special glass. Happens in Holland too, once in a while. Usually if you really don't want to give your shoe, they accept a monetary deposit too though ;) But you'll really have to ask about it.

Pictures are awesome! Wish I had seen more of that town too, I was only there one day when everything was closed :-(

P.S. Depending on jetlag I'm trying to go to UUC in Boulder next sunday already!

Carol n Rich said...

Hi Amber and Adam,

Just wanted to say hello, love the pics, check your blog often, am terribly busy with end-of-the-term papers at the moment, but hope we can meet up soon!! We are, after all, only a hop, a jump and a skip away from each other!!

Love love love

Carol (and Rich)

ecmarsh said...

Hey! I've been to Ghent! I walked on that bridge and walked at that castle, too. I'd forgotten that I've been there, 'cause in college when Jen and Becky and I were traveling around we just went to -so- many places and they all blended together, but Ghent was definitely one of them. Thanks for the reminder.

Wasn't there some sort of medieval torture device museum in a room at that castle? Maybe you didn't see that.

Thanks for helping me procrastinate a bit more. I miss you!