Having visited Disneyland Paris, we continued our adventures by travelling into Belgium. Mr G and I love Belgium, our very first holiday as a family with Boo (aged 3months!) was to Bruges, we loved the atmosphere and architecture, but remember all to well Boo being cold and hating being bumped along in the buggy with plastic wheels..we really were clueless!
The journey across France and into Belgium started badly, with an accident further ahead on the motorway causing us to be sat in a traffic jam for over an hour..the boys quickly tired of looking at the same old lorry and car out their window and chaos descended! Luckily I'd packed a bag of 'surprises' in the foot well, it's amazing how much fun can be had from a toy from a cracker or stickers salvaged from a discarded comic when you're stuck in traffic! Soon we were on the move and Boo started to be captivated by the scenery, demanding I photographed things from the car:
|What do you think? Not bad for a photo taken at 70mph!|
Not long after having seen this windmill we had a minor crisis as the windscreen wiper flew off and had to be recovered and reattached by the side of a fairly busy road! As we headed into Ghent, we discovered that it is very easy to stray into the pedestrian part of the town, Mr G did well to stay calm as I squealed at the tram following us down the road! I confess I am the worlds worst passenger and squealing 'Oh No!' with my eyes shut while hanging onto the door of the car was perhaps the least helpful thing I could have done.
Finally locating our hotel after having abandoned the car (and then discovering we just needed to drive a little further up the hill!) we were delighted that the Novotel was situated so close to the Bell tower. We were greeted by a friendly receptionist who explained how to get into the underground car parking and gave both boys a small welcome gift. Our room was superb, the boys had their own room within our room and there was a huge seating area! It was more like an apartment than a hotel room!
Heading out to explore, I was delighted that Boo was as excited about the buildings as I was and he insisted we stopped to take multiple photographs! Our favourite building was undoubtedly the Castle and we happily paid the 8 Euro per adult entrance fee to explore it further!
Boo was very excited, until confronted with the main entrance - a very steep stone staircase which twisted its way upwards, at this point he started to scream 'I don't like it!' and after several minutes negotiating and his face starting to turn white with fear we decided to head down. Luckily for us the castle attendants were very sympathetic and opened a separate staircase which was just as steep but without the fear of twists and turns! Boo was reluctant at first and I could sympathise as the stairs did appear to go a long way up to me! With some encouragement he made it all the way to the castle roof and terrified me by squealing 'Oh look how high we are Mummy!' while trying to peer through a gap in the wall!
Having examined the gigantic swords and suits of armour we headed for a relaxing ice-cream which E thoroughly enjoyed as you can see below!
Ghent was enjoyed by all of us, and I wish we'd had a day or two longer to explore! I'd have liked a little time to potter around and visit more of the art galleries and spend some time in the cathedral so on my return I shall ensure I encourage the boys to take a boat trip while I have some quiet time!