Ghent

The two girls of about ten years old pointed at the magazine rack in the newsagents and muttered to each other in Flemish. They were pointing at the book proudly displayed at eye level supporting a cover picture of two happy-looking naked women embracing. It seems that this area of Belgium shares a lot with their Benelux neighbour. Although Ghent may have it’s own red-light district, canal network and scores of bicycles, it is distinctive in many ways. As you’d expect from Belgium, there are mussels, fries, chocolate, amazing beer and waffles. I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so clean and gentrified, but still had a lot going on, with some well funded theatre companies to make Katie jealous, good cheap soup, and an incredible restaurant in a converted warehouse. The best bit was that we were about the only tourists there. My colleague couldn’t believe it when I told him Ghent was only two and a half hours away on the train.