Graffiti is ... classier ... in Ghent.
Ghent has all the usual good stuff: towers, cafes, many many beers, etc. The main square area has three main towering buildings, plus a variety of buildings with magnificent facades, waterside cafes, and other good stuff. Kriek fruit beer with ones morning waffle is awesome.
Also chocolate is everywhere. Even at the doubtless sneered at by foodies chains it's really good!
Another notable awesomeness of Ghent is that although not exactly abandoned it's not drowning in tourists the way the really big tourist towns are. It feels like a real town with some tourism instead of something that exists for tourism alone and has no other purpose or legitimate reason to exist.
There is even a castle. And it's a hardcore castle. Someone said "make me a castle that people will recognize, with extra battlements, lots of little towers, and a keep". The castle was built to let the local guilds know who was boss more than for defensive use according to local signage.
All the buildings have awesome facades. Many of them are five stories high, sometimes plus attic. Despite being built side by side they retain unique rooflines and colors which gives a very nice effect.
We invested in boating.
Endless awesome facades.
This church is missing it's tower. It is said this is because the beer selling monks who ran it felt Ghent wasn't drinking it's quota and thus wasn't worth the investment.
It still looks decent even towerless (on the right).
The castle has a half-moat so, provided the black knight doesn't realize this, they are safe.
One of the oldest buildings in Ghent. Awesome facade as always.
It is just awesome when a castle rises up in the background.
A wtf statue loomed over a nearby monastery run by very few very old monks who are not being replaced by the sound of things.
Something about angels being unable to breathe the air given the mess we've made and thus needing a gas mask.
There is a boat company that gives a slightly longer tour for the same money but their equipment may be suspect.
After out boat ride we test drove some cafe beer menus and admired the buildings.
Next we randomly wandered into a store that offered artisinal (French for expensive? :D) scotch, rum, and others from little kegs. And they give samplers!
They also have grappa and various other mixed things in a sort of chem lab configuration. And fancy olive oil on another wall.
Fancy grappa is really good. Who drinks a glass of grappa in the morning though?!
Outside more cool buildings.
We admired the cool buildings some more, had some dinner, and called it a day. Ghent is awesome. Like Leuvan (also awesome!), it is a really nice town that isn't purely a tourist trap, has great beer, nice buildings, and semi-reasonable prices. Basically it's Bruges without the crowds, pricing, and lack of any activity that isn't tourism.