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5:28pm on Sunday, 15th June, 2008:

Places I'd Like to Visit #9


Continuing the occasional series...

Ghent, in Belgium.

When I was in my first year at secondary school (ie. aged 11/12), I went on a week-long school trip to Ostend in Belgium. From Ostend, we went on a number of day trips, including ones to Paris, Meli Park (now known as Plopsaland) and, on one day, Bruges and Ghent.

So if I've been to Ghent, why is it in my list of places I'd like to visit? It's not a list of places I'd like to revisit, so..?

Well, we got to Bruges and had a look around, and it was very pretty and all, and then after lunch we returned to the coach to go to Ghent. However, just as we were about to set off, another coach struck the back window of ours (I think with its wing mirror — I was at the front so I didn't see it happen), shattering the glass. We couldn't proceed until a replacement window had been fitted, so we had the afternoon in Bruges instead of going to Ghent. I remember being a little annoyed because the previous evening we'd been to see a film (Young Winston) and I'd invested in an ice cream that proved every bit as expensive as cinema ice creams in the UK, meaning I didn't have much money left to spend in Bruges the following day.

Still, the point is that I didn't get to go to Ghent, and it rankles to this day. Not that it's a factor, but it does seem to be worth visiting anyway, especially the old town, which is quite pictruesque.

Am I ever going to get there? Well given that I could be there in 3 hours from my house, there's no physical obstacle. The only problem would be in persuading my wife that a day trip to Belgium to see a place I didn't get to see 36 years ago is a worthwhile use of our money.

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).