Ghent! The Festival!

At the beginning, Ghent was not in my travel plan (well, the fact is… I did not have any plan at all. :p).
But, Michelle forwarded me some Ghent Festival information, so I decided to visit this city for one day after reading the print-outs on the aircraft.

I waked up very early, and arrived Ghent around 9. In the early weekend morning, this city was still in her sweet sleep with her colorful decoration.

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I parked the car outside the city and paced along the river and the streets.

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Suddenly, after a turn, I found a guard decoration on an old wall. I wondered this old building is a church, but most churches in Belgium should be in Gothic style or Roman style in general. And the area of this building is so large, and rounded by a high wall. Besides, I could find a large garden through some cracks of the wall.

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Some Belgium travelers were also interested in this building, and we decided to knock the wooden gate and hoped there would be someone can answer and tell us more about this building.

Fortunately, a lady answer the door, and tell us about the building. Well, in Dutch. The kindly travelers tried to explain to me, and I finally knew this building is not open to the public. However, there was a special activity in the afternoon (2 or 3 p.m., I am not so sure now), so it would open after a few hours.

That’s fine, I can go to visit the city first, and get back here later for this building and the special activity. 🙂

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Basically, I walked along the water. Scenes at the banks are really great and lovely. Somehow this capital of East Flanders made me relate the Love River in Kaohsiung.

The first architecture caught my eyes is Belfry. Well, it looks like a church, but it’s not! It worked as a bell tower to report time and a warning watch tower (Well, like the Town Hall of Age of Empires?!).
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You can have a 360 degree view from the top of Belfry. Such as Saint Bavo Cathedral.
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and Saint-Nicholas Church.
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The Ghent Festival likes a carnival and is a collection of concerts, displays, installation arts and performances. You can find one of them in any place of the city (most of them are around the town center region). The festival usually lasts for more than one week. There would be different performances at the same spot everyday, so you can watch a lot if you stay long enough.

Well, there was a concert at the plaza in from of Saint-Nicholas Church. It seems an activity of the festival!
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You can take a seat, order a glass of beer, and enjoy the concert. Well, the cherry flavored one is good. :p
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After a few encores, I left the concert and headed to the old building I found in the early morning.

As I walked into, I found it is not a building, I guessed it should be a residence house with a large garden. Oh~ the interior is really old and beautiful.

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After I checked some information flyers and asked the guides, I found this is a military training center in the old ages. There is a small building, which was a dinning place in the old ages.

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Many people sitting in the building or gathering at the entrance, my curiosity made me walk to the counter to get more information about the activity which would be going on here. The staffs said this is a concert, and I should have a ticket to get in. However, I do not have a ticket… As I think I should leave after take a glance of this old dinning building, a man (I guess he is the host of this concert) came to me and asked me where I came from. I thought he must be interested in why a Asian face with casual (not formal, at least) dressing showed up at such kind of occasion. Anyway, he was surprised that I came from Taiwan and accidentally get into this old arch. He gave me a ticket and invited me join this concert with the enthusiasm. 🙂

This concert is cello solo and cello-violin duet.
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Lovely concert. I also bought a CD as a souvenir. Then, waked back the town center and threw myself back into the festival.

There were more and more people in the town center, and you can find more and more performances on streets.

They even created a beach on the street!
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As walking and watching the performances, do not forget the historical archs. nearby.

Saint-Nicholas Church
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The old post office
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The ugliest building in Ghent. Actually, this is a church, but the tower at the right side is never finished. Although many generations of people in Ghent think it’s the ugliest building, it also becomes a landmark of Ghent.
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Beautiful river bank.
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You can also find charming decorations on streets.
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The tour map indicated this is the most beautiful building of Ghent. Well, I just think it’s the most colorful. :p
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Another place I was interested in is Forza Ritmica, which was an abbey in the old ages. Now, this place become a residence region, the expensive type. 😛
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Although I only stayed in Ghent for one day during the festival, I thought Ghent is an interesting and lovely city, which keeps the old buildings well, makes travelers easy to walk around for sight seeing, and also ensembles new style arts. 🙂

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