Thursday evening, over dinner, we discussed what we could do for fun over the weekend. Laine, naturally, wanted to tour a castle. Isaac, naturally, did not. Todd figured there must be a castle within a reasonable driving distance, so he ran a Google search. There are LOTS of castles within driving distance. We narrowed our list to 3 possible options and then chose the one we liked best from that.
Sunday, we drove to Gent to see Gravensteen. It was fantastic!
The castle has been through some pretty impressive restoration, so it isn’t in ruins as some castles are. Additionally, they had audio tours available for everyone to listen. We were able to hear the story in English. It was a highly entertaining tour! There are 18 stops along the way, allowing you to tour nearly the entire castle, including the master bedroom, the countess’s (tiny) bedroom, the dungeon, etc. The tour tells about some of the fortifications, some of the most famous murders carried out there, and also explains how the WC worked. It was told in a mostly-light manner, so even the kids were able to appreciate it. Todd and I loved it. The narrator didn’t go into gory details about the torture devices located in the dungeon (whew!), but he did explain a few of the scandals in a way that wasn’t too explicit. It was, by far, the best audio tour I’ve ever heard.
The rest of Gent, at least the parts we saw, is beautiful. We will definitely go back once the weather warms up and the flowers begin to bloom.
On our walk back to the car, we strolled down Graffiti Street. These are just a few snaps of the ever-changing street art there.
Overall, it was a great day and we will make plans for a return in the near future.