As I mentioned in my “birthday post” here I went to the beautiful city of Gand in Belgium to enjoy a spa retreat and to do some sightseeing. Please open the door that let you come into the middle-age city of Gand (in French), Gent (in dutch) and Ghent (in English) …
1. The hotel
I stayed at the Stanton Reylof Grand hotel which is equipped with spa and is very well located, only 10 min foot from the centre of the city. The building is fantastic with beautiful staircases!
The hotel is equipped with sauna, hammam, swimming pool, massages and fitness. I really enjoyed a full body massage helping me to relax my tense shoulders and neck muscles. The masseuse is really good! I really wanted to take care of myself and especially of my body during this stay in order to empty my head and “evacuate” stress…
2. The architecture
The architecture of the city reminds me of Amsterdam as there are a lot of bridges, canals and the shape of houses are quite similar. It is really cosy to walk around the city, admire all the buildings, stop having a great Belgian bier or “frites”!
There are a lot of churches and cathedrals in Gand but I recommend you to see the polyptych panel painting from Van Eyck at the Saint Bavo cathedral. This painting is really impressive! Unfortunately it was not allowed to take pictures…
3. The château Gravensteen
It is from the middle ages and it means “castle of the counts” in Dutch. It was built in 1180 and renovated several times but it is worth visiting it. The view over the city from the top is absolutely fantastic and it contains an interesting collection of arms and torture instruments from that time!
The Château in the evening…
3. The cafés and restaurants
There are a lot of cafés and restaurants in Gand but if there is only one to recommend I would choose Gillis (www.gillis.be) . They definitely have the best meat! The service is fantastic and the look of the restaurant is modern…. this is really one of the best restaurant in Europe I have been to!
4. The museums
As I did not have enough time I decided to focus on two museums….
a. MSK (Museum Voor Schone Kunsten) which contains a great collection of Van Eyck, Rubens, Bosch, etc….
b. The Design Museum
This beautiful building contains a great collection of design pieces of furniture…it is a mix of old and new in the same place! Very very interesting!
5. Gand by night
This is a “must” activity! You must walk around the city late in the evening to admire all the lights illuminating this wonderful city!
Au revoir Gand et à bientôt peut-être!