A Day Trip to Ghent (& the Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat)

In some ways it’s a treat to be home from vacation — I can approach my house-projects in new ways and with new energy. But if my home is my ‘castle’ I can’t help comparing it to one we just toured…

Gravensteen - Ghent Belgium - Castle of the Counts

Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts) in Ghent, Belgium

Some of best times come on days that aren’t pre-planned. Sam’s been wanting to tour a medieval castle. We were on vacation last week in Brussels when he did a little extra reading in our guide book and noticed the Castle of the Counts, in Ghent.

We hadn’t planned our trip in detail, so it was easy to take a day trip to see it. Of course it’s been heavily restored, but what structure dating back to 1180 hasn’t? By the 14th Century the Counts of Flanders had moved on (I’m guessing they downsized), and the castle was used for other purposes until the 1880s when the city of Ghent started restoration.

Gravensteen - Ghent Belgium - Castle of the Counts

In back: a remnant of the moat.

One of the projects I most need to tackle here at home is bathroom remodeling, so of course I wanted a look at the loo —

Ghent Castle of the Counts - toilet

That spot of green is the shrubbery, or maybe treetops — a few stories down. Something like this would tend to discourage enemies from lurking too near the castle walls.

It’s a nice look, plain and simple, but a little basic for my needs.

Along the way up we toured through instruments of torture, so it was a relief to come out into the open, where there’s a great view.

Ghent - from Castle of the CountsThe climb up was steep, but going down was harder. Here’s Sam, waiting to see if I tumble…

Sam on the stairs at Castle of the Counts After the castle, we went to the Design Museum (no thumbscrews there). And now we’re home, so it’s time I got back to work on my own castle.

Did you see anything to inspire your home renovation?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat

More on Gravensteen, the Castle of the Counts, in Ghent

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10 thoughts on “A Day Trip to Ghent (& the Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat)

  1. Such a lovely castle. As you said, the dunny or loo looks simple and basic – nothing too fancy but does the job but I don’t think it sits well with those who are small in stature. I’m not home renovating at the moment, but I always am looking for ways to tidy up my apartment and making it look cleaner and brighter. It never is clean enough.

    • Cleaning is tough for me too. Somehow, as soon as I finish, the part where I started is already needing cleaning again. It’s the same outdoors — now the leaves are falling and if I clean from the top of the driveway down toward the street, by the time I finish and come back up the driveway, it’s filling up with leaves again!

      • I find that is the same thing with me too. When I have arranged and cleaned out my closet, I never fail to feel that it needs tidying again. Good luck with cleaning the leaves. It sounds like you can be stuck outside all day doing that 😀

      • Yes, cleaning up the leaves is an infinite loop. Well, maybe not infinite, but would go on at least until January. They are coming down pretty fast now. The 2nd worst thing for me in keeping clean is the kitchen counter. I’m sure there’s someone else here who follows me unseen and puts stuff on the counter when I’m not looking.

    • Good question! Funny, but in the small town where I grew up there were lots of houses that still had their outdoor privys. My Grandma and some of my friends who lived in the country still used theirs, as not everyone had indoor plumbing yet even in the 1960s. Nowadays people have heated towel racks and heated floors and who knows what other kinds of luxury. It makes me feel a little guilty to contemplate a remodel like that, so I’ll do something more basic, but not as basic as that open-air example.

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