Our next stop on our whirlwind tour of the WWI countryside in Belgium was Ghent. I'll be honest, we have a slight obsession with Amazing Race. We have watched every season as a family for a long, long while now... and the season before we stopped by Ghent, guess where Amazing Race stopped? Some of you might recognize it.
By far Ghent was one of the most architecturally interesting cities we visited in Europe. The stunning fact about Gent is that it escaped sever destruction of the city in both World Wars. That is pretty amazing considering cities of smaller stature were destroyed as artillery bystanders.
Since our obsession with Amazing Race tends to overshadow our life, I thought it entirely proper to begin our Ghent tour with The Gravensteen. While not one of the most extravagant castles (Germany has the bar set pretty high in that category) it was fun to tour a partially moated castle. There are not many moated castles left on the mainland of Europe.
Because we had extensively toured castles in Germany, the inside of this castle was not that spectacular. However, what I did really enjoy was the views. Most German castles are either positioned in the countryside away form the village center, or high above the village. So, when you look out a window the countryside views are stunning, but I loved Gravensteen because of its village views.
I wasn't a fan of climbing to the top of the castles. I have an extreme fear of heights and just climbing up the stairs my heart would begin the pounding, thumping, teeth rattling drum of trepidation. But I always climbed, as I had this little pep talk in my head, "It's been here for hundreds of years. Surely it won't fall down today!" Because, the view was always worth the fear.
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