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25 July 2011 / leggypeggy

Chip off the old block

Ghent Castle and its overhanging toilets.

I’ve been meaning to mention our visit to the local castle in Ghent, Belgium. We didn’t actually visit, so much as sit out the front and drink beer while we enjoyed the view.

It was the first castle our daughter, Petra, ever visited. That was in 2000, when she spent a year as an exchange student in Belgium. Our friends, Malou and Rudy, who live in Ghent escorted her there and take great delight in recalling how gobsmacked she was to learn that the toilets extended out over the moat—meaning everyone’s business fell into said moat.

But that’s not the only mischief Malou has carried out in the castle. My dear friend, Maggie, and I travelled around the world together in 2003. Maggie decided her main trip souvenirs would be a small stone from each place she visited. She thought it would be easy to find a stone lying around Ghent castle, but everything had been so well swept. In the end, Malou went to work surreptitiously and chipped a small bit off a wall.

Ghent Castle—missing a few chips off the old block.

By the way, the castle is fascinating and well worth a trip inside. Last time I visited there was a fascinating and sobering exhibition of armour, weapons, instruments of torture and the like.

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