One day visit in Ghent

If you are planning a day trip to Belgium this weekend, Ghent is a must-visit port city located in Northwest Belgium. First time I visited this town when I was pursued my post-grad studies in Lille, France. My friend used to drive me here for a day out as it was only 1 hour drive from where I used to live.

Ghent or Gent, is known for medieval architecture with its pedestrianized center built during 12th century. Today, Ghent is popular as university town and cultural hub.

Ghent is well worth for a last-minute city trip as its offers fascinating cultural cocktail, or drink-out with trendy urban ambiance, strolling around and discover its medieval architecture while doing a little shopping.

Here’s some glimpse of splendid architecture that remains remarkably well-preserved in Ghent:

Graventeen Castle

The castle dates to 1180 and was the residence of Count of Flanders until 1353. It was used as a court, prison, mint and cotton factory. It was restored over 1893 until 1903. Today, the castle is a museum and a major landmark for the city.

Photo courtesy from www.viator.com

The old Graslei Harbor

This place is quite trendy with the bars and pubs around the riverside. When the sun is out, this place will definitely pack with people enjoying their drinks with a magnificent view of the colorful buildings.

St-Nicolas Church and Saint Bavo’s Cathedral

One is a gothic church and the other is 10th-century romanesque cathedral – these landmarks mark the skyline Ghent’s old town.

 

 

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Sunny winter in Deauville

Sun was finally up in Normandy last Saturday. I think almost every one in Normandy or we call them les normands went out that day. Well, that’s what we do when the sun comes out. It has been cloudy, cold and sometimes rainy since the beginning of 2019 until last Monday. The weather started to warm up from 4 degrees Celsius in the morning until 14-17 degrees Celsius in the afternoon. It is indeed very warm weather for February.

So like everyone, I went out to the coast, Deauville, located in the northwestern France, or about 1 hour driving from where I live, Rouen.

I think this was my third times coming there. Learnt from my previous visits, you must arrive before 11 am or otherwise it will be very difficult to get the parking. You also can reach this city by train directly from Paris for nearly 3 hours. The price for return ticket during the weekend will be around 40 to 60€.

Click here to reserve your train.

Deauville is quite popular with its horse race, harbor, beautiful villas, the Grand Casino, marinas and international film festival. This town is considered as the “queen of the Norman beaches”. Since the 19th century, it has been popular destination for the Parisian and seaside homes for French high society’s. Les Normands call it as the Parisian Riviera.

What to visit in Deauville, here’s some of my recommendations:

Promenade des planches

Where beach closets are dedicated to famous actors and moviemakers that have come to Deauville.

The seaside 5 stars Hotel Normandy and its garden

You do not have to sleep in there, you can enjoy the magnificent hotel architecture and its garden by the street.

The Horse racecourse at The Touques Hippodrome

Deauville is internationally known for its horse culture, famous tracks, yearling sales and multiple group on annual horse races. This racecourse hosts most horse races during the year, thus gaining the “four season hippodrome” nickname. When there is no horse race even occurred, you can actually visit this place with your kids to get to the pony club.

(Source: wikipedia)

The address:
45 Avenue Hocquart de Turtor 14800 Deauville

Place Morny and Place du Marché

The Morny square situated at the crossroads between Le Hoc road links the train station to the casino, the Gambeta road leads to the racecourse to one side and to the quay to the other, and the Oliffe road, leading to the beach. This square is located at the heart of the city, surrounded by shops, cafe and Deauville market’s area. The market is already operated since 1881.

(Source: click here)