12 March 2010

goodbye ghent

ghent45tick-tock! time is running out. it’s your last full day in ghent. a monday. N has a meeting in brussels, so you’ve got the day alone to explore and absorb.

ghent46you do your normal thing of walking. no map. just wandering around.

ghent47you make some obligatory stops in some cathedrals…

ghent48peeling paint. keyholes. colors on a door. paper cats in a window. small things that occupy a big spot of your heart.

ghent49 you stop in a coffee shop and have lunch. which was a panini with pears and honey. and some soup. you love how soup just makes everything better when it’s zero degrees celsius outside.

ghent50yet another door, some leaves, and some insanely expensive but beautiful lace.

ghent51meet advokaat. normally it’s a creamy and strong liqueur made from eggs, sugar, and brandy. but in this case, it’s the spreadable version that goes on bread after dinner for dessert. and strong it is!

ghent52time to head back. you realize you skipped a lot of touristy “must dos”… but you know you’ll be back another day, plus you were loving the city too much to be locked up indoors in some place of historical importance. next time, you tell yourself, you’ll go visit that castle and go see that important painting… next time.

ghent53ahem! degustation time. on the left we have a rijstulaaj or a rice tart. the filling is made with boiled rice, sugar, and eggs. apparently it’s famous because a 16th century Flemish painter, Pieter Breughel, depicted lots of these little guys in his paintings. it also used to be eaten by belgian cyclists as a power snack during races.

and on the right we have a brownie with slivered almonds. not much difference here, or explanation necessary.

ghent54now here is some roggerverdommeke or rye bread with currants. whew! this was the sweet loaf of poor people back in the day because rye flour and currants were cheaper than white wheat flour and raisins.

ghent55you’re sorry you wanted to try this. you thought that since fries came from belgium, that they’d be good… but no. terrible. but you aren’t giving up hope. you know good fries exist somewhere in belgium. you just aren’t sure where. but at least you know what to avoid!

ghent56 chocolate from brussels! nibbles of joy.

off to bed…

ghent57the last breakfast.

ghent58small details make you happy. like this little bit of orange peeking out of an vintage blue peacoat. you hop on your bus back to france and wave goodbye to your favorite canadian.

ghent59and you are stopped at border control for two hours. some lady has three suitcases filled with medical creams. ooo, interesting! and here, your phone can’t make up it’s mind. is it with B mobistar in belgium, or with Orange F in france? you’re happy to be in a liminal space with a cell phone to prove it.

ghent60back to paris, where it snowed…!

after paris, back to evreux.

and off to three days to the normandy countryside!

2 comments:

La tête en fleurs said...

Dear Cathy, your eyes, so the way you capture beauty and details all around and in any place you go, touch me. I just love your picture. But, essentialy, i am touched by the mind that is behind it. Spirit. Take big care of you and i wish we see each other before you cross again the ocean. Merci pour l'hommage à Gand, cette ville qui devient tranquillement mienne, et à nos moments partagés. Bisous.

N.

cathy said...

@N: <3 <3 <3!