While we were gallivanting around Iceland last month, we were guided through a harrowing snowstorm by a lovely Belgian couple, and while we wound down from our near death experiences over an overpriced pizza, we began discussing our travel plans. When they heard that we were going to be spending some time in Bruges and Brussels, they had one piece of advice: Skip both of those and go to Ghent. Ultimately, that turned out to be the best piece of travel advice we've received so far aside from "You can bring your own mini bottles of liquor on an airplane".
Ghent was founded in 650 AD, and by the middle of the 13th century had become the second largest city in Europe after Paris. That's right, GHENT WAS THE SECOND BIGGEST CITY IN EUROPE AND YOU HADN'T HEARD OF IT BEFORE YOU READ ABOUT IT ON GETTING IN THE MAP. When Ghent's role as a metropolis of Europe was ended in the 17th Century by the Eighty Years' War, the city became an afterthought on the Trafalgar Tours' which wind their way through Northern Europe. While Paris is the City of Love and Amsterdam is the Venice Of The North, this stunning port city has no nickname. The medieval structures in the City Centre are so beautifully well-preserved because they escaped the bombing of World War II that decimated so many cities like their Dutch neighbors Rotterdam, and the three most famous relics (St. Michael's Cathedral, St. Nicholas' Church and the Belfry) are literally within shouting distance of each other. FUN FACT ALERT: The Belfry has a golden dragon on top, which (in medieval times) they would pump smoke out of the snout as enemies approached so that they would think A DRAGON PROTECTED THE CITY. THIS IS SOME GAME OF THRONES SHIT WHY IS GHENT NOT THE MOST POPULAR CITY IN THE WORLD?Read More