You will hopefully by now have understood my love and passion for all things Belgium - the connections with cycling, the cobbles, the beers, it's all my kind of stuff really.
One of the most enjoyable trips I have had whilst covering cycling came a couple of years ago when I visited Ghent. I used the city as my base as I covered the Ronde van Vlaanderen that year as it was quite central to the start and finish and pretty easy to get to as well.
Luckily the day before the race I had some spare time and I took a stroll around the city to explore.
Let's start with the shot everyone shoots, it's been taken thousands of times, so let's get it out of the way now. Yes, it's the one along the canal over to the castle - pretty and iconic at the same time.
But I wanted this little story to include some shots of places that you might not necessarily always see, shots like this perhaps:
I have a sharp eye for art and sculpture, so will always be looking up high in the sky to see what might be hidden and this made me smile.
Of course, I did have to include some cycling in my stroll and took the short walk over to the world famous velodrome where the 6 day racing takes place amongst a noisy throng of beer fueled bike fans.
Again, I was very impressed with the artwork on the wall outside enticing the fans inside.
Back to the canal and river network again now for something that was really cool to witness. Just a short stroll from all the pleasure craft taking visitors up and down the river was this gentleman quietly getting on with his painting.
He was creating something pretty special and the sunshine was warm and welcoming on what could have been a typical cold and miserable Flandrian day. It was a shame that I couldn't wait for him to finish, but maybe somewhere now that final painting is hanging on a wall in the city? who knows?
Now of course when you think of Belgium then you are certainly reminded of the food and drink that makes it famous: beer and chocolate and the city does not let you down with either.
Just look at the finery and detail of this, which is in all essence a sweet shop, but oh no, not in Belgium, this is a work of art in itself.
Turning to the alcoholic refreshments and I have to admit an addiction for the blonde beers of Belgium and there was no shortage of them in the city.
The students were catered for here
But my most favourite of all pubs in the whole world was just off one of the main squares, this was simply majestic. Just look at that vivid yellow, amazing!
The very centre of Ghent is stunning, the gothic cathedral is a brilliant centrepiece to the city with the cafe's and restaurants all around the square, the busy trams buzzing and clanging their way along the cobbles.
But I suppose its the rivers and canals that make the city what it is and you can find some stunning views from out of nowhere. The colours along this stretch were incredible, the bright yellows, the dark reds, wow!
I am going to finish this little journey with another one of the things I spotted high in the sky, the little gold ship at the very top of this quayside building was perfect for that afternoon, just perfect.
Hopefully this little post will have tempted you to travel over to Flanders and to experience the city of Ghent, it is truly a great little place to visit.
(and if you really fancied it, there are loads of cycling races you could watch as well whilst you are there)