Gent is Great, Part 2

Since I had the opportunity to go back to Europe for work, I decided to spend my one free Saturday back in Gent, Belgium in order to attend the Gent Jazz Festival.

I had visited Gent in late May/early June (See “Gent is Great” June 8, 2013), and fell in love with this small Belgian city which hosts the largest university in Belgium, along with a stunning medieval town center.

A castle that sits in the historic center of the city of Gent

A castle that sits in the historic center of the city of Gent

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The weather was not too nice the first time I visited, but this time I was lucky to have a warm, sunny day with blue skies and fluffy white clouds.

A view of another part of the historic city center, Gent Belgium

A view of another part of the historic city center, Gent Belgium

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I snapped photos all over the city trying to capture a small piece of what I love about this place.

A charming canal view in Gent

A charming canal view in Gent

Everywhere you turn in the city center, there are beautiful views.

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And I happened to be in Gent on the one day that the Gent Jazz Festival overlapped with the Gent Festival (a city-wide festival where over a million tourists pour into Gent over a 10 day period.)

Here you can see a view of the city transforming itself in preparation for the Gent Festival.

The city prepares to be over-run with tourists during the Gent Festival

The city prepares to be over-run with tourists during the Gent Festival

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But even if you walk outside the city center, you will still find cobblestone streets and more charming architecture.

Street scene - Gent

Street scene – Gent

The charming architecture of Gent

The charming architecture of Gent

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But once the Gent Festival begins, the city center becomes extremely crowded with visitors. I took some photos of people watching the opening parade of the Gent Festival.

Crowds watching the Gent Festival opening parade

Crowds watching the Gent Festival opening parade

Crowds line the canals of Gent city center

Crowds line the canals of Gent city center

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Later that night, I went to the Gent Jazz Festival and saw Elvis Costello as the closing act.

Gent Jazz Festival

Gent Jazz Festival

All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day in Gent, Belgium.

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4 Responses

  1. Gent’s a great place for photographers! How was Elvis Costello? Saw him years ago in Bristol, England.

    • Hi Kathryn, thanks for following my blog! Yes, Gent is so beautiful it’s hard to take a bad photo if the weather is even moderately cooperative.

      Elvis rocked the house, as you’d expect. But, ironically, the entire closing night of the jazz fest had absolutely NO jazz performers, which I admit was disappointing for me. I figured, okay, Elvis Costello is a headliner, he’ll close… but I figured it would be jazz before him, but it wasn’t. Not saying the performances were bad, they were quite good, but still…

      • That is ridiculous! On the other hand, I went to a Jazz festival once where Alison Moyet (who used to sing with Yazoo) headlined and I over heard people complaining that she was singing jazz!!

        • Well, the bigger complaint I have about the Gent Jazz Fest is….. the “big tent” where all the acts were performing had NO CHAIRS. Everyone was expected to stand, shoulder to shoulder, for every performance. Each performance lasted over an hour, and there was about 4-5 hours of performances thru the afternoon. Logistically, that was very poor planning on their part.

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