Belgium

Mary PW Chin 穷孩子
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Ghent

Ghent is the place where I've been there and back not knowing whether it is properly "Ghent" or "Gent". I flew via Brussels. On the return trip I could only find the direction to Brussels National Airport. Confused, I asked the attendant whether the national airport was in fact the international airport; he said yes. I sought further confirmation that there was only one airport in Brussels; he laughed, and I laughed.

Ghent was just nice: compact and accessible yet not congested. There were people around but not too crowded. Locals cycle a lot -- without helmets, and mostly on upright / town bicycles (as opposed to bend-over mountain bikes). It took me awhile to realise why the cyclists looked funny.

I had a room in Novotel, which was very nice but not too posh. I prefer this to Marriot's style of brass, shiny furnishing. The room window presented me with a full view of St Nicholas' Church. Some friends lodged at the boat hotels. I asked whether they woke up in the morning finding themselves having floating elsewhere, they said no.

We went on a cruise. The river was much smaller than Budapest's, therefore the banks were far closer to the boat. The banks were dotted by lone women waiting by their door, some were smoking. I suddenly realized what their roles were, I turned to my friend and exclaimed, "Oh?" He started nodding in absolute confirmation.

The Cathedral and churches are gorgeous but you can search the web for nicer photographs by better photographers. Look, I took just this:

Doggies' toilet Doggies' toilet! Such are the things one doesn't find in guided tours.