well, we are looking at going away for October 1/2 term (it is kind of belated 40th present to me). The initial thought was Amsterdam, then Florence but I am thinking – suddenly and totally unprovoked – about Ghent.
Here’s a secret within a secret: Ghent might just be the best European city you’ve never thought of visiting, in a country that continues to be criminally overlooked. Ghent hides away in the middle of Belgium’s big three – Brussels, Bruges and Antwerp. Most Belgium-bound visitors rushing between these see nothing more than the stately fortifications of Ghent’s St Pieter’s Station. Those who do hop off the train and stroll along the Leie River to the historic centre will have their eyes out on stalks. Here hides one of Europe’s finest panoramas of water, spires and centuries-old grand houses. But this is no place to simply kick back: Ghent has one of Europe’s most dynamic festival scenes, which vies for visitors’ attention. This year the entire centre will emerge from a major program of rebuilding designed to show off the huge pedestrianised squares.