Thursday, October 19, 2017

Belgium Travel Diary- Gent, day 1

Hi guys,

Oh, look at me, being slightly consistent with my travel diary :). So, Gent, huh? I was telling you last time that we decided to book a hostel in Gent and take one day trips by train to see other nearby places on our travel list. It was our first experience with hostels. Well, if I remember correctly we also stayed in a hostel in 2009 when we visited Amsterdam for the first time, but it was a 4 bed hostel room and I was traveling with 3 of my friends, so we shared the same room... I don't think this counts as a hostel experience :).

In Gent, we stayed in Hostel Uppelink. It was recommended to me by a friend of mine who stayed there back in August! The location was incredible, right next to Saint Michael's Bridge, it's in this beautiful, old building with super friendly and helpful staff and a cute little bar and chill-out area .They are organizing a beer tour on certain days, that we actually took and it was an awesome experience, it's super clean, the breakfast was pretty good and we really enjoyed our time there. We stayed in a 6 beds room, there were mostly students temporarily living there until they'd find a more permanent accommodation. I would definitely recommend staying there if you plan on visiting Gent. The price was about 20 euros/night, breakfast included, which was super affordable.

We arrived in Gent little after noon, checked in the hostel, grabbed a city map and went exploring. And since we couldn't fully enjoy the area on an empty stomach, we went for a quick soup at this amazing place, walking distance from the hostel. The place is called Soup'R, I'll have the link below, they have a variety of soups, sandwiches and salads, super yummy and quite affordable. They are only open for a few hours and it can get a bit crowded, but we didn't have to wait much for our food or a free table. It's an eat-and-go kind of place and definitely worth a visit.

For the rest of the day, we simply strolled along the canals and streets of Gent, with no direction. We had the entire following day for exploring and seeing the main touristic attractions, so on our first day we weren't pressured to do anything in particular. In the evening, before the beer tour at the hostel, we bought a salad from the supermarket and ate it outside, on the canal near Saint Michael's Bridge, that's filled with groups of people chilling, listening to music, eating. There's this really nice energy and vibe surrounding the area... it felt really good!

We then took the beer tour, at the end of which we received a voucher to take a free drink from the hostel's bar beer selection. Some very kind middle aged Americans donated their vouchers to the rest of us: me, my husband, an Italian and a Dutch student and a "backpacking through Europe" Canadian dude. We spent some time at the bar, sharing traveling experiences, talking about our countries and backgrounds... Safe to say we got a bit drunk in the process but it was a fun first night in Gent and a perfect start to our Belgian beer tour :).

I'll now stop rambling and let you see some photos from our first day in Gent. I hope you'll enjoy! Also, if you have any questions about the city, that I maybe didn't covered in the blog post, feel free to ask in the comment section, or DM me on Instagram (@dresssidestory) and I'll be happy to answer!



Useful links:
Hostel Uppelink


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