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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Out & About, Part II

This was rumored to be the last day before the Belgian monsoon hits, so we decided to do some more walking around, revisiting old haunts from our stay 20 years ago. The town was quiet; most shops are closed on Sunday, but cafes were open and filled with locals out for a drink or a long Sunday lunch. We went to the cathedral of St. Bavo and  spent a long time in front of the early 15th century Ghent Altarpiece, "The Adoration of the Lamb" by Jan and Hubert van Eyck. It's a glorious and complex work, with every detail a symbol or a historical or religious reference.

Stopped in a cafe on the Korenmarkt for cocoa (we're doing a comparison of hot chocolate in cafes throughout Gent, trying to choose the best, So far everyplace is winning). Phil was starving, so we had our first plate of fried cheese (aka fondu au fromage or kaaskroketten), a Belgian staple. Typically eaten with a spritz of lemon and sprinked with fried parsley, they're sort of like mozzarella sticks that died and went to heaven.

We kept walking, but soon realized that our extremities had grown numb and that an icy rain was beginning to fall. We were more than a mile from the apartment; by the time we reached it, we were sliding on the cobblestones and clutching each other for support. Home safe, in for the night -- or possibly several nights, if the ice storm keeps up!

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