European loves (Gent, Belgium)
Morning lovelies! I really intended to write this post earlier, but yeah, you know, school year is heading to its end and this means exam preparations, extra rehearsals for ballet performances, weekends full of taxi-driver duties for the little Misses of the pond…everything to keep me away from crocheting and blog writing. But, here I am, even with a delay.
My daylight job is what I usually describe as not-that-interesting, which is the case for most of the crafters here, at this creative part of the blogosphere. We all wish that we could make our hobby a real work and we choose to hide our “normal” job in minor comments on posts or by putting sad faced emojis next to our crafting photos on Instagram.
But it would be unfair not to admit that my daylight job is what I’ve chosen to do early in my life, I’ve not just landed into it, I’ve deliberately chosen to do that and, yes, it has treated me well until now. And, yes, it also has its highlights, which include a couple of business travels per year, mostly to Europe, but also sometimes to the US.
And yes, business trips mostly cover the route “airport-office-hotel”, but still eh? It’s a chance to escape from your everyday routine and work at another setting. Which is usually not bad. So, a while ago, I was invited to a three day visit to Gent, which is an oh-so-beautiful city in Belgium. I’ve been there before, more than once, so I knew what was ahead of me.
But, as often as one visits Gent, that’s not an obstacle of diving into its medieval beauty! I absolutely adore the beautiful old cities of Europe, especially when there is a river or a lake or water in whatever form (fountains or swimming pools exluded!) in the middle of them. I love being there, talking walks, smelling the air, eating their local specialties, shopping cute little stuff, you know, all touristic joys of life!
We stayed at a lovely hotel right by the riverfront- I’ve taken a photo of the room, following the strict instructions of Little Miss no 2, who specifically asked for photos of every corner of the room, even of the loo. I’ve obeyed, but I’m not uploading the loo photo here, by no means.
The weather was..er… how can I describe it? It was cold for late April, with temperatures from 4 to 10 Celsius. Leaving Athens at 23 degrees, I’ve tried to pack as many warm clothes as I could find lying in my summer closet. Believe me, they were not enough. Because, how can a cotton yarn cardigan beat the evening chill in Western Europe? But most of the time, the sky was clear, bright and the city was full of light, a miracle for the eyes.
I won’t bother you with descriptions of the mornings there… We just stayed at the hotel conference room, in front of a big screen full of presentations and having discussions upon discussions. Interesting ones, but not fancy at all 😉
Evenings however were far more interesting. For two evenings on a row, we had some delicious food at very nice restaurants, chilling out from the busy day, cleaning our heads from work stuff, laughing and drinking beer, because…
if you’re in Belgium, drink beer! How can it be otherwise?
And the program, apart from work and food, also included a wonderful afternoon boat ride on the river.
I chose to sit outside, on the boat’s deck, despite the cold, so as not to miss any tiny bit of those lovely surroundings. I could feel my hands freezing and my ears in pain from the cold air, but it oh so worth it!
The view was astonishing- We passed through the part of the river, which splits a neighborhood into two. So many beautiful old houses, all built right on the riverfront, such a pleasure to see.
Right after the boat ride, we walked all together through the city center, which was full of young people, as Gent is a city with a famous university and lots of student life and laugh. And we were introduced by our local colleagues to Cuberdon’s, the local sweet specialty sold everywhere. It’s a pyramid shaped small sweet tidbit, impressive when you see it stacked and in many colours, but… not that impressive when you taste it (it’s actually like kids cough syrup trapped within a sweet shell, sorry my Belgian friends!)
We were taken by a good friend to a Dille & Kamille store, a store selling all kinds of good tasted kitchen and garden utensils, plants, pots, herbs and lots of other lllllovely things!
So, I’ve bought a couple of things there, small presents for the little Misses and a stunning pair of wood and aluminium garden scissors for Mr. BeardMan and then…
then it was yarn time, then it was my time! Into a yarn shop, after touching each one of the balls, wondering whether I should buy any (I definitely shoudn’t), I settled up with five balls of cotton yarn in the most sweet duck egg colour and another two in darker blue- Not sure what I’ll do with them, but I’m sure it won’t take me long until I find the perfect project 🙂
So, with the yarn bag on my shoulder, it was about time I said goodbye to the lovely city. The sky was still grey, the drive to the train station right in the middle of the rush hour and I was sad to go…
I got home way after midnight, stressed and not being able to sleep. So, I sat on my couch and worked a bit on this shawl. I’m using a Malabrigo silkpaca lace yarn, which is a heaven to work with, shiny and smooth and with luscious colours. I hope to show you the finished shawl the soonest possible 🙂
So, until we meet again dear Gent <3
Thanks for reading lovelies!
Froggy kisses from the pond