We've spent most of the last couple of weeks way off the tourist trail. Even in Maastricht, most of the visitors were from Holland or Belgium. Not so Ghent. We're hearing much more spanish, french and german spoken on the streets. Lots more English, too. In fact, we were tied up alongside a Welsh couple, Roger and Peggy, who have a fondness for Rioja, the full-bodied red wine from Spain. Oh, my aching head!
We are seeing much more of the expatriate boating community as well. In Holland, everybody has a boat and the boating community is mostly local. There is a pretty good sized Belgian boating community but there are many more foreigners thrown into the mix. We're finding more opportunities to be social, if our livers can stand it!
And no, we tried not to get lost, even though this map is of Lier.
Tim and his son visited an old castle that featured an exhibit on medieval torture instruments. Michael liked it; I'm not so sure about Tim.
We were wandeling on the second day and crossed town to check out the new marina. We walked right into The Big Jump, a celebration held across Europe to encourage improvement in water quality.
There was a Mr. and Mrs. Big Jump contest and the winners were the first allowed to jump in and swim across the River Leie, to the delight and encouragement of the crowd.
They were soon joined by quite a few swimmers, many in some form of costume.