On Friday (1st Oct) we continued on into Ghent for a few days. We love Ghent, have been several times now, we just enjoy wandering around. The city has a great feel with many interesting shops. We stayed in the boathaven at Linderlei which is very close to the centre of town.
Mooring in some berths at Linderlei requires an interesting procedure, reversing between 2 poles. Needless to say Piedaleau did not cover herself in glory on this – she tried to take one of the poles with her! Some Americans on a Le Boat beside us helped by relaying my instructions to ‘Adrian’ – he was driving from inside and I was outside – they found it all quite funny. They told Adrian that they like to moor early so they can watch others coming in. They have a 2 tier rating system – 10 points for ability and 10 points for entertainment value! Didn’t tell us how we scored but we can guess!!
Note to Captain – always steer from up top when coming into difficult moorings……..
On saturday Grainne, Andy, George and Pat (Irish Rover) came over from Bruges by train to visit us. Andy and Adrian spent quite sometime trying to get to the bottom of the gas problem, trying to find the source of the leak. Despite their best efforts they could not get it sorted so we decided we would use the gas as sparingly as possible and only turn it on when actually needed. Adrian is ordering a gas leak locator to be delivered at Valenciennes.
Then we went to the pub.
We had a great late lunch at the Irish Pub nearby (how could we go elsewhere with Pat with us!) Another boating couple (Mandy & Guy) and her mum joined us so it was all very jolly! Unfortunately the Bruges crew had other celebrations to return to Bruges for so they headed off on the train that evening.
I had noticed 2 boats in Linderleie – Ebernaezer and Elodie. Christine and Peter Craig (Elodie) we met back in 2018 at the Ghent DBA rally. Nats and Andy Parker (Ebernaezer) we had ‘met virtually’ last winter when Keith Sweet video called us when he was visiting them in Ghent. They had needed to return to UK and so missed the Veurne rally. We hoped we might meet them all.
Firstly we ‘bumped’ into Christine and Peter in the pouring rain one day and arranged to have a drink together that evening and then to go out for a meal the next evening. As luck would have it we saw Nats & Andy returning to their boat and invited them to join us for the meal – at the Irish pub again of course! They had not met each other before so it was fortuitous as they are both overwintering in Ghent. And they are both in the process of working through the mire that is required to obtain residency for boaters in Belgium.
We enjoyed both evenings immensely.
On a wet and windy afternoon we visited the Ghent City Museum (STAM) which we hadn’t been to before and found it fascinating. The floor panorama was stunning; it gives a real feeling for the size of the city and of the waterways in and around Ghent. We were able to trace our routes to the various places we have visited around Ghent.
On sunday morning – still wet – we walked up to the flower market which was understandably much reduced in size but Adrian still got to buy me flowers! We also bought loads of chocolate ready for Christmas.