Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Chocolaty and Christmasy 'Belgium'...

What comes to your mind when you read Belgium on the map? The immediate answer would be Belgian Chocolates! Indeed very famouus for wafles with various toppings, rich chocolates and again rich culture. I don't claim that I know Belgium but two cities that I saw are Ghent and Brussels, enough to give me an impression about the richness of this country. Very famous for its Gothic architecture apart from chocolates.

Recently I had an opportunity to visit University of Ghent with my research group. We couldn't thank enough to Rob for booking an accomodation in central Ghent. If it was not for this visit, I would have never realised that Christmas+Belgium are such a beautiful combination. Christmas lights, hot wafles, local markets and such lively ambience...I fell in love with Ghent! 

Belgium succumbed to mammoth Germany in the second world war and that is the reason why those beautiful Gothic structures were saved from destruction unlike London that was completely destroyed due to bombing. A war is never good for any country and never an penultimate solution for any problem! Not going into those details let's get some flavour of Belgium.

The language spoken is Flemish, which sounds like a mixture of French, German and Dutch. Only half an hour apart, it was surprising to see that Dutch is widely spoken in Ghent whereas French in Brussels - what a diversity! But I quite liked this diversity that adds so much to the richness of Belgium. 

 Famous Tower of Ghent and there is anew interesting torcher museum in this tower.
 In the midst of classic Gothic architecture there are modern shops and yes ready to welcome Santa!
 These two guys striked a cord of beautiful music amalgamating in crisp winter afternoon...
 A walk in the city, perfect lights and a perfect photo
 Christmas market with local shops and yes Tram runs through the city...very much a part of day to day life.

 Chilly night and a walk along the canal couldn't have been more beautiful...
 One more click along the canal, clear water and floating reflection of those buildings..aah lovely sight
 One more along the canal...No special settings on my camera, it naturally made an awesome pic
 Walking under these decorative chimes makes you feel royal :)
 Glitter everywhere declaring that Christmas is just round the corner!
 Another classic picture with perfect lights
 What a beautiful church!
 The same church but an early morning view from my Hotel room window
 Lovely woven carpets probably. I saw a lot of these in Ghent and Brussels
 Collection of stamps and coins and many little precious things
This is a Court in Ghent
 Jingle bells...Jingle Bells...
 Christmas is coming....
 A very beautiful piece of Gothic art!
 Local market with lots of woollen hats...which one do you like?
 It is winter...right? But this old man knows that winters+rain+wind= sturdy umbrella is required!
 Again a beautiful bright Christmasy decoration
 Wafle anyone? Well don't eat this, click a photo!
 Polar bears are getting ready to make a cozy cottage for winters
 Rudolf the red nose Reindeer...wait but this one is an illuminated Reindeer
 I suppose these are some Greek monuments...Greek gods..are they?
               Little precious things again
 This statue reminded me of my daughter...mother and her child, so precious

A day time click along the canal,day and night have their own importance and beauty.
Christmas tree...makes everything look perfect
So much of brightness, I couldn't adjust a contrast on my phone camera...this is all what Christmas is about...lights...
Hang on Mr Patel's shop is here...:)
White Christmas tree...whole city has donned white and red
               Onions...they look beautiful like pearls in your kitchen
Baby potatoes being cooked in sauce...Wait! this is not for Vegetarians
          Such a lovely gesture outside a Bar
      Do I want to go away from these lights?
It isn't any festival if Children don't have fun...they make everything special..what would you like to ride on?

Christmas market with modern little shops set up in between these mammoth Gothic a different feel...Best of both era's
Ganapati Bappa Morya...he is waiting for Santa to arrive :)
I went mad clicking anything and everything but literally this anything and everything is what Christmas market was all about.

Signing out with a hope that you all will love these pics and a mini drive through this Christmas market. Enjoy and see you all in my next post...Dank U, Merci!!!

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