Things to do in Belgium before you….

DSCF0167.JPG We’ve been making the most of our last few days and weeks in Belgium. We’ve been back to Gent, on a crisp sunny day. We got our bearings, visited a few old favourite places, discovered a lovely deli near the university for lunch, and the castle, fetched more hot mustard, and generally enjoyed ourselves.

DSCF0212.JPG We went to the big annual market in Geraardsbergen, where we bought some French garlic but bemoaned the absence of our usual market stallholders (no final cherry fromage frais from Cheese Man).

We had a day in Brussels with Wilf and Gélise, visiting cookshops (Wilf is as bad as Dee for cookshops) and bookshops (looking for cookery books), walked for miles looking for an Italian deli Gélise used to frequent (we found it), and had a meal in Brussels’ finest vegetarian restaurant (never had tofu in a cream sauce before).

DSCF0161.JPG We walked round Deux-Acren taking pictures of the detailed brickwork and the ‘knitted’ (Kaffe Fasset moment) houses. Belgians do really interesting things with red bricks. We cycled to Lessines in search of chocolates and beer and other essential souvenirs. We went to the Musée Magritte in Brussels and the pictures made us laugh, in sincere, for us somehow lived, appreciation of their surrealism, and the brazen genius of the artist who could imitate – and poke fun at – just about anybody’s else’s style.

DSCF0206.JPG We went back to the Chaussée de Haecht for Turkish pizza. We tasted lots of beers, including several different varieties of Kriek (noted that we’d like a crate of Girardin next time we’re over). We enjoyed a delicious farewell prawn curry with Wilf and Gélise on our last weekend (our menu choice), and a final meal of fish with samphire and braised chicon prepared by Nic. We experienced the near-rapprochement (now there’s a tautology) of Bob and Aggie with their batiment cousin Mini (see photo series).

DSCF0244.JPG We were touched that Nic and Bini as well as Wilf and Gélise were up and about to see us off early on the morning of our departure. Apparently Beticiclopp arrived later that day so that will no doubt fill any void we might leave for now. We left Europe through the port of Amsterdam on the crest of some rather fierce gale force waves. We’ll be back.


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