Legends from our own lunchtimes

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Ghent seems to have recovered well enough!
Saturday 20th August - Oudenarde to Gent

Apart from the odd spot of shipping avoidance, and one or two or perhaps five or six nights of catching up with old friends, we’ve spent the better part of the last month drifting about in the forests or through farmland or wandering in the nearly deserted streets of tiny villages.

When we were last in Ghent we described the place as “hungover” after the great summer festivities, and although most of it wasn’t exactly deserted, the crowds such as they were, even in the tourist centre, were were relatively thin and particularly quiet.  We felt we had at least a little personal space around us as we explored the centre of town then. 

It was an absolute shock to arrive in the early afternoon today to find an entirely different city.  It seems that in our absence the place has been over-run by a seething mass of humanity.  The streets and waterways alike were filled with all manner of craft bearing people intent on having a good time and not at all quietly.  

We did venture out, to have a quiet look around and to buy a seal for our coffee pot, because that seemed like the most important thing on our list of things to fix.   After jostling with the shopping crowd which was bigger than the tourist one, by the time we’d found the shop that sold the parts we’d forgotten what size we needed.  If it hadn’t been specifically for the making of coffee we might very well have abandoned that project there and then. 

Desperate perhaps, we doubled back, retrieved the pot and waded into the masses once more for a trial fitting in the store, bought said seal, and retreated as quickly as we could.  Tomorrow, as soon as we wake we will quietly slip away on what will be the first leg of our homeward journey, and we'll sip our coffee as we go, wondering which version of Ghent we’ll remember when we look back at our travels in years to come.   We know which one we prefer!


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