Ghent 2018 – Day One – Orientation

By rights our journey to Ghent started yesterday in London when we met up with the friends that we are travelling with for a meal and a show. The less said about them the better (meal and the show, not our friends) as both were pretty mediocre although that wasn’t the universal view of all in our party regarding the show.

The hotel we stayed in, however, I did like. It was a hub by Premier Inn which is the trendy brand of the ever present purple chain. Hub differs in a number of ways – it is green for a start, all the room services are controlled from a touch pad at the top of the bed, they have trendy fixtures and fittings and, oh, yes, they are tiny – possibly as much as half the size. There is no opportunity for cat swinging here. In order to accomodate everything the bed is higher off the ground allowing for a clever sliding draw underneath to put your bag and another for, well, anything you fancy. As a simple bed for the night I liked it and it was within walking distance of Kings Cross which was useful for the next stage of our journey.

This morning we left the comfort of the hub and made our way to St. Pancras station to board the Eurostar to Brussels. Having not taken the train for a while I was expecting airport type lines and queues. There was certainly a long queue but it moved so quickly I didn’t have time to get my ticket out of my bag. Security control was also quick and so we were soon on the train and crawling towards the tunnel.

I thought that the train now ran at full speed on both sides of the channel but it seemed quicker on the continent. Maybe this is just a taste of how everything will be post March 2019…

We took what I assumed was a local train from Brussels to Ghent but given the luggage racks were full of suitcases it must have been mainly tourists. Finally we had reached our destination.

Our hotel was an half and hour walk from the station through an uninteresting area of the city. The hotel turned out to be lovely, just a couple of minutes from the old town, and with a toilet larger than our room last night! After dumping the bags we headed out to explore and orient ourselves. It looks to be a lovely place and I look forward to seeing it better tomorrow.