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Part1 Amsterdam Part4 Antwerp, Brugge
Part2 Keukenhof, Haag Part5 Gent, Gaasbeek
Part3 Kröller-Müller, Kinderdijk Part6 Brussels
Part7 Luxembourg
5th Sightseeing day, May 11
Gent and Gaasbeek Castle
It is 9:00 am, raining now. Around 10℃.
We are going to Gent, 55 km from our hotel at Bruges, just in the middle to Brussels, our destination place today.

During sightseeing in Belgium since the evening of May 9, we have met the weather change with dizzying speed all day.
Luckily enough, however, it rained only at night, when in the bus, and while inside the buildings.


We arrived at Gent at 10:00 am after 1 hour drive. It's 15℃ here.
Gent is said to have appeared in the history since the Middle Ages as a rival of Bruges. Population: 200,000. Many students, full of green trees.
Gent is the city of water, too, where there are 20 small islands tied by 70 bridges.
I hear we can enjoy the vestige of the days when Guild trades played an active part and the woolen textile industry was prosperous.

It was raining just before we entered St. Baafs Cathedral. The streets were quiet perhaps because of the holidays of Ascension Day.
(Ms. Chareen, the guide, and Ms. H, the tour conductor in the picture.)

St. Baafs Cathedral
(Sint Baafskathedraal)

I really felt that this cathedral stores a lot of art works, seeing the displays on the wall and sculptures.
I didn't expect to see "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (Het Lam Gods)" by the Van Eyck brothers, as it was said the cathedral was under restoration. However, we were lucky to see the triptych in the inside.

Triptych "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb"
Old Town (Histrisch centrum)
Guild houses
Belfry, right, of 91m in height
53 carillons created wonderful bell sounds,
not inferior to the ones in Bruges.
Castle Gravensteene, constructed in 12th century
Look at the sky! We are on the way from Gent to Gaasbeek Castle.

Gaasbeek Castle
Le hateau de Gaasbeek

This castle was firstly constructed as a fortress in the 13th century with the wide garden and the surrounding moat .
The guide said, "Count Egmont used to live here. You may know Beethoven's Egmont Overture. Its Egmont is himself."
I felt benefitted as I like this overture very much.

It is like a quiet landscape, surrounded by the garden with a lot of trees. They say it is closely related to the pictures by Pieter Bruegel.

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Ms. H, the tour conductor, cheerfully announced when we finished Gaasbeek Castle and got on the bus, "This is nice information for all of you."

Flower Festival at Grand-Bigard Castle near Brussels is still open until tomorrow, which might have been closed on May 5. Isn't it also the benefit of the abnormal weather this year?
We had enough time, so we made good use of the unexpected luck.

"Spring in Groot-Bijgaarden" Flower Show
at Château de Grand-Bigard

This castle is 50km north of Brussels.
The flower show is held only for one month every spring in the castle, the largest show of bulbs in Belgium. We luckily got the unexpected chance.

According to the pamphlet here, "Over one million bulbs of tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and others will create a 14 hectares tapestry of colours and fantasy in the park of the castle."
Additionally in the pamphlet, "important indoor exhibition in the 1,000 ㎡ green-house with flower-beds but mostly bunches of flowers made of freesias, callas, amaryllis, tulips, alstromerias, roses, gerbera and chrysanthemums. Orchid show in the chapel and a surprise in the tower."

In fact, the flowers both around the park and in the green-house, were all in their glory which had a different taste from Keukenhof. Not to mention, all of us lost ourselves in the gorgeous flower festival.

We got to Brussels before 4:00 pm, so we had enough time to be surprised by the gorgeous Grand Place, the city's central square, to salute Manneken Pis, and after that to enjoy shopping and dinner.

Old Town of Gent
St. Baafs Cathedral, Gent
Gaasbeek Castle
Flower Festival at Grand-Bigard Castle

 Photos of Brussels are in the next chapter.

Part 5 Reading 7:23
Sorry, some PC systems do not support
my sound-transmission software.
< Part 4 Part 6 >
Part1 Amsterdam Part4 Antwerp, Brugge
Part2 Keukenhof, Haag Part5 Gent, Gaasbeek
Part3 Kröller-Müller, Kinderdijk Part6 Brussels
Part7 Luxembourg