Night Location: Gent, Belgium
Song of the Day: Walking on a Dream - Empire of the Sun
Mumisode of the Day: Mum flagged down a man in an Audi 4WD thinking that it was Dad. The man driving slowed down, made a close study of Mum, and then moved on. It has been decided that all future flagging down should be done by Amber with her exceptional long range vision.
Today has been quite a relaxing day in Belgium. After an early breakfast, we set off for Antwerp, home to the world's best diamonds and an Alcatel-Lucent office for Dad. While Dad did some work, the rest of us went shopping. Amber, after some negotiations conducted by Gemma, purchased some simply stunning diamond earrings. They are emerald cut, with small brilliant diamonds around the outside and are very elegant. Gemma was somewhat jealous.
The remainder of the time was spent exploring the main boulevard of Antwerp along with the cathedral. There is a lot of lace in Belgium but so far we have not purchased anything. None of us are quite sure what we would do with it, and as Mum keeps saying, "I have a whole linen cupboard full of lace."
Returning to Gent, we enjoyed a fantastic vegetarian burger. Europe seems to be full of vegetarian burger outlets. We would like to know why this is not the case in Australia. After lunch we set off for the canals and were able to experience Gent from the water as well. This tour was a lot more informative than the one from yesterday, and it is surprising how many of the major sites of the city can be seen from the water.
Another hot chocolate was required to warm up after the boat adventure, and then there was some more shopping. The streets are so beautiful here. Every street has different shop fronts, and they all look untouched from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries when they were created. If you look more closely, you can see that a lot of renovation has happened behind these shop fronts but that a lot of attention to detail has meant that the old part of the town looks unchanged. We all agree that this is the prettiest city we have seen in Belgium and would love to come back. The hotel we are in is right in the heart of the old city and makes it very inviting to go exploring on foot.
Tomorrow we are visiting more WWI sites including Villers-Bretonneux with the Australian War Memorial.