If you remember, in my last post, How to spend a day in Gent, I mentioned I would be blogging about my boat trip around the city. So … anchors aweigh!
I was enticed to take a boat trip by this intriguing board.
I say “intriguing” because it mixes English and Dutch in one word, with “boot” being Dutch for “boat”, but attached to the English word “trips” to make a single-word hybrid that you will never see in a dictionary. The competition over the other side of the river got it right (although a purist would say boattrips should be two words):
And I rewarded them with my custom!
Boat trips in Gent is indeed a competitive industry. It would be interesting to see all the boats in action on a sunny Sunday afternoon in August:
All the companies seem to offer a “captain” giving a running commentary in English and Dutch, although I read that some companies offer guides in other languages. The captain of the boat I took seemed very knowledgeable, although to be honest I found myself switching off and simply enjoying the sights (and the silence when he stopped talking!)
The trip took 45 minutes, and the boat firstly went south, downriver and upriver and back to the starting point, and then north, upriver and downriver and back to base. So it’s not possible to do a circular tour. Here are some of the sights.
The Graslei, with the Korenlei on the opposite side, constituted the trading center of Gent in the Middle Ages. The buildings are the original warehouses, into which the grain was lifted from the boats on the river.
The building above is the back of the Oude Vismijn (the old fish market), which we saw in my previous blog about Gent, but from the front. It houses the Gent Tourist Office.
In the Bierhuis (above) you can apparently get 165 types of beer, which must mean a very long drinks menu!
Above are some other interesting buildings to see.
So there you have it; a highly enjoyable and recommendable 45 minutes. What I really appreciated was the opportunity to see the backs of many buildings that I had seen from the front during my city walk earlier in the day.
I still haven’t exhausted Gent. Next up … the Castle of the Counts!