Gent is our first visit to one of the old places in Europe.

Tuesday May 12th, 1999 -- Sonia and Piet take us to Gent in Belgium.

So we found out Tuesday night that the ferries to England were booked pretty solid. Everything for Thursday was taken, but there was still a place on Wednesday. So we bought a ticket online and hurry-packed-the-van. That made room enough in our timetable to visit Gent, Sonia's home city.

Suddenly it felt very much like being in Europe. Everything looks unfamiliar in a European city. We went to the Castle Gravensteen for which the original keep was built in the 10th century. The castle museum depicted all sorts of gruesome implements of torture which were used there over the centuries. A major restoration began 100 years ago and the results took our imaginations back to the times of lords and ladies and assassinations by crossbow. (The pictures of us on the stairs are from inside one of the many, many stone passageways).


We had authentic Belgium waffles.          




We visited the Cathedral of Saint Baaf, which was originally built in 942 and is one of the largest cathedrals in Europe. The corridors went on and on, then we went to the basement... it was just as expansive underneath.    

One of the cathedral's biggest treasures is the 'The Adoration of the Lamb of God.' They say it is "the most famous painting in the world." We hadn't heard of it.    


Sonia lights a candle for our safe trip.   





After the old city, we plunged back into the modern world and went shopping for groceries. In this picture you can see how the checkout people sit (as opposed to standing). In the foreground you see Henry waiting apologetically as he holds up the line. Turns out you're supposed to weigh your produce yourself before proceeding to the checkout line. Sonia is in the background bringing the offending bananas.

Follow us as we begin our camping adventure on our own in England.

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