May 16, 2011
Our first stop today was to the local University to take advantage of cheap student eating.
At around 1, we entered the old square and visited the 13th century Church of Sint Niklaaskerk. It’s massive and it’s Gothic. Like many early churches its construction spanned several ages, indicated by the degredation of the stones from East to West.
We followed the water to find a boat tour site. What was most interesting is that those who were sentenced to execution were put in a prison cell under the bridge for their last night night. There, the prisoners feet were placed in the canal water to “purify” their souls, allowing them entry into the Pearly Gates.
The highlight of the day was visiting Gravensteen or House of the Count. Originally used as a castle, the fort has been converted many times into a torture hall, prison, storage cell, and now of course, a museum.
That night we met up with several other Ghent students, had some drinks, played some music, and stumbled around the bar district on Overpoortstraat. Good Lord, this place rocks!
Probably the coolest game unknown to man… Translated as “Nailing” the game requires the players to hammer other peoples nails into the log. If you miss, you drink a sip of beer. If you are the 2nd or 2nd to last you win. It is the shit.