RFI - Ghent/Rotterdam/Amsterdam

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OK, so the Guvnor and I are touring the low countries next week, we're going to be in Ghent for about 18 hours (including watching AA Gent vs Lierse), Rotterdam about the same and Amsterdam for about 2 days.

Recommend us bars, art galleries and restaurants.

And I'll give anyone a gold star if they can recommend anything in Tourcoing.

Porkpie (porkpie), Sunday, 25 September 2005 21:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'm totally hyped about going here:


but a bit gutted that the museum will be closed when I'm there. Oh well, I'll have to go back some other time. Can anyone recommend a good book on the Amsterdam School?

Tim (Tim), Monday, 26 September 2005 07:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

in tourcoing:

FESTIVAL RADAR "Rendez-vous Annuel des Acoustiques Radicales" from sept 30 thru oct 7 - a pretty good music festival

JARDINS D'OCTOBRE on the 1st and 2nd of oct - open gardens to walk through,e tc

FESTIVAL BD (comics) from oct 1st thru 29

they also have a nice modern art museum (Le Musée des Beaux-Arts)

the Saint Christophe church is also very nice, neo-gothic

you better believe it (you better believe it), Monday, 26 September 2005 18:01 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one of the times I went to amsterdam, it was all about michel de klerk. one of my tutors said I looked really like him, too, but I didn't think so

I went to a great jazz club called cafe alto, off the leidseplein, which is on the way out towards the van gogh museum and those parks, around. those were some really great times

the van gogh museum looks OK, from outside. I have been there twice but never in. nice parks, around. the second time, I went, there was a huge, white, illuminated, inflatable house, nearby. it was part of the late-night gallery opening week or weekend, perhaps. we went inside and drank wine and no-one stopped us

most of the rest of this is buildings stuff. maybe not TOO interesting

the berlage exchange building, just down one of the main streets, from the train station, is v. impressive. I think they were renovating it, the last time I was there, but you could probably get a good tour, these days

I saw some other nice buildings like a wee steven hall, perforated copper pavilion (private, though, so only across a canal), aldo van eyck's hubertus house, some herman hertzberger school (more out of town, I think). don't think much of renzo piano's big, copper NeMo technology centre thing, on the water, but the roof is an OK walk-on.

the west 8-planned borneo & sporenburg bit is a good visit, east of the centre. they are old docks, redeveloped for housing and stuff. some big, landmark buildings, like the silver, twisting "whale", and much smaller, individual houses. these are the most interesting, I suppose, for the walk down either side of them--each is a plot of about four to six metres wide with the front, perhaps, on a street, and the back, perhaps, on the water. they're all quite different and have a kind of spines-on-a-bookshelf look. the big, funny bridges, between the fingers of the docks, are good, too. fun and a nice wee walk but it's colder and windier, I guess, and a bit...dead, out there

got a good talk about the current land reclamation stuff, from an engineer, last time, too. I don't know if they have actually started building on any of the new islands, though

I was very cold, in rotterdam. I think that was in february or march and it was only during the day, so I don't remember doing anything particularly fun. the massive, one-armed, cable-stayed erasmus bridge. dunno

don't know anything about ghent. a friend was there, for a few months and, I think, really enjoyed it, though

have fun!

RJG (RJG), Monday, 26 September 2005 18:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

did you see the cube houses in Rotterdam? They look pretty cool.

I think the reason we're in Tourcoing is part of that Radar festival, but still, gold star to you better believe it

Porkpie (porkpie), Monday, 26 September 2005 18:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I went to Ghent nine years years ago for the festival, which takes over the entire town, proper dancing in the streets type thing. Marvellous. Obviously that won't actually be going on when you're there, so sit drinking beer in the square, thrash out the Brown/Hopkins ideological divide and look at the grebt cathedral, hang out by canals. It's a nice city.

Sadly I'm a bit sketchy on actual details this far on.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Monday, 26 September 2005 20:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

RJG, yesterday. Grumpy due to worn out typing fingers.

Thanks chaps! I've seen some of those, R, and I particularly liked that van Eyck one, it seems to disappear when you look at it. I was completely floored on my first trip to Amsterdam by the big 20s Amsterdam School developments in the South of town past the Pijp, which is why I'm so excited to see Het Scheep and that.

Talking of van Eyck, there's that van Eyck in one of the Cathedrals in Ghent isn't there? One of the earliest known oil paintings, can't go wrong there.

And I understand our Tourcoing expedition does indeed intersect with RADAR, love. I shall be interested in which members of the 'Tele are Acoustices Radicales. I won't be shouting "Judas!" though, that would be corny. Yes it would.

Dancing in the streets is only aany good if there is TAR involved, TAR on FIRE.

Tim (Tim), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 08:08 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

If you like gothic deco go to the Tuschinskitheater (I always champion this building) - it's even worth seeing a film in order to do this or you can just pop your head in the door and admire the sumptuous lobby.

Sociah T Azzahole (blueski), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 08:30 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

If you want to find some recordshops in Ghent, go the student area. It's near the Blandijnberg/St Pietersnieuwsstraat. There's a few there. I dunno, Ghent is nice, but it's nothing compared to Bruges (which is only one hour away). :-) The *funnest* place to visit in Ghent is 't Gravensteen. Well, I like it and always force friends to visit as well. :-)


SOrry, not much help, I know.

nathalie, a bum like you (stevie nixed), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 08:34 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I heart Bruges but get the impression that Ghent may be a little livelier in the evening?

Tim (Tim), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 08:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Not within your remit, but the Amstelkring is well worth a visit. A secret catholic church built across the lofts of three houses, from the time Catholicism was banned in Holland. I also liked the Maritime Musem a lot, but that's probably just me.

Cafe Gollem is exceptional if you're a belgian beer enthusiast (check the beer list linked off this page), and has a nice crowd.

If you don't mind spending a bit on food, I heartily recommend going with the chef's surprise menu at d’Vijff Vlieghen, on Spuistrasse. They also have five original Rembrandt etchings on display.

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 08:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

In Amsterdam try
Bar: "Joia"
Club: "Club NL"
Restaurant: "Supperclub"

nocure, Tuesday, 27 September 2005 08:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Porkpie is totally not allowed to click on this link and read the "menu" section!


Tim (Tim), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 09:00 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I wish I hadn't, it's made me even more jealous than I was before. Don't forget to remind him while you're away that I'm expecting a very nice present from his trip as small compensation....

Vicky (Vicky), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 09:19 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I heart Bruges but get the impression that Ghent may be a little livelier in the evening?

Oh yes! Definitely. Hence why so many students, who once lived in Bruges, stay in Ghent after they graduate from university.

nathalie, a bum like you (stevie nixed), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 10:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

try and find a bar in amsterdam called "De Wildermann" - over 200 beers to sample and really nice atmosphere.

dog latin (dog latin), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 11:25 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


Porkpie (porkpie), Friday, 30 September 2005 11:02 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Me too!

Tim (Tim), Friday, 30 September 2005 11:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

twelve years pass...

OK it’s fifty years later, we had a great time. I am going back to Ghent. Anyone have any strong recommendations?

Tim, Sunday, 14 January 2018 17:04 (one year ago) Permalink

It's been over 10 years since I've been there but the Dr. Guislain museum (a former psychiatric ward) has an excellent collection of outsider art

willem, Sunday, 14 January 2018 18:32 (one year ago) Permalink

Failed to get there this weekend but halfway through the weekend we decided there was so much we wanted to do (and eat and drink) that we will return at some point. Ghent's a great place to visit.

Tim, Monday, 22 January 2018 10:14 (one year ago) Permalink

Failed to get to the Guislain museum, I mean - it's a shame because my wife's all about museums of medical history. Next time. Thanks for the tip, Willem.

Tim, Monday, 22 January 2018 10:15 (one year ago) Permalink

Real tru players call it 'Gaunt' btw

But doctor, I am Camille Paglia (Bananaman Begins), Monday, 22 January 2018 10:21 (one year ago) Permalink

My people are not the real tru players, happily. My people are the fake fake players.

Tim, Monday, 22 January 2018 10:29 (one year ago) Permalink

did u not make a resolution to cut fake ppl out of your life in 2018

But doctor, I am Camille Paglia (Bananaman Begins), Monday, 22 January 2018 10:39 (one year ago) Permalink

I should go to Ghent, passed through the station on way to Bruges several times- and you get a pretty impressive vista just from the train.

But doctor, I am Camille Paglia (Bananaman Begins), Monday, 22 January 2018 10:41 (one year ago) Permalink

Ghent is really great IMO, everything that Bruges has to offer and more because of the large university, meaning life after 7pm #TeamGhent

Thomas NAGL (Neil S), Monday, 22 January 2018 10:51 (one year ago) Permalink

I am cutting the real fake people out of my life, and I am having a think about the fake real people. The fake fake people have always been my people.

ANYWAY part of the attraction of Ghent for me is how easy and quick it is to get to from London on the train. I think it's slightly quicker / easier to go London -> Brussels -> Ghent than it is to go London -> Lille -> Ghent. Given the distances involved this seems counterintuitive to me but it seems correct, unless there's a quick and cheap rail route from Lille to Ghent that I'm missing.

Outside of the fairly obvious places you could find in the guidebooks, we went to a wine bar called Alberte near Dampoort where the food and the wine were outstanding, I'd recommend the place to anyone.

Tim, Monday, 22 January 2018 10:54 (one year ago) Permalink

And you can travel onwards from Brussels anywhere in Belgium for free with a eurostar ticket- don't think similar applies if you get off at Lille.

But doctor, I am Camille Paglia (Bananaman Begins), Monday, 22 January 2018 10:57 (one year ago) Permalink

Right - though it's not any Eurostar Ticket, you have to buy an "any Belgian Station" ticket, so there is a premium compared to just going to Brussels or Lille. But yeah a return from Lille to Ghent seems to cost like 17 euro, so the any Belgian station option would work out cheaper overall. It just seems weird that it takes about the same time to get a direct train from Lille to Ghent (about an hour and a quarter) as it does to stay on the train to Brussels and get a train back west to Ghent.

On the plus side, we had a few hours in Brussels, always a pleasure. This time we went to the weird bourgeois toytown burb of Woluwe-St-Pierre to see the outside of this place: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoclet_Palace and the inside of this place: http://wittockiana.org/en/ , both amazing.

Tim, Monday, 22 January 2018 11:08 (one year ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Eurostar direct rail services between London and Amsterdam will begin on 4 April, the company has announced, in an eagerly awaited move expected to spark a price war with airlines.

Tickets for the two daily trains – starting from £35 one way – will go on sale on 20 February. The services will allow passengers to travel from St Pancras station in central London direct to the Netherlands in three to four hours.

More than 4 million passengers a year fly between London and Amsterdam, making it one of Europe’s busiest air routes as the Netherlands grows in popularity as a key business and tourism hub.

The cross-Channel rail operator is set to challenge established airlines on the route, including British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair. It will target potential converts by saying a London-Amsterdam Eurostar journey emits 80% less carbon than the equivalent flight.

Plans for the service were first announced in September 2013 but the official start date has been subject to numerous delays while immigration and passport controls were agreed.

These issues mean direct services returning to London will not be in place until the end of next year. Passengers travelling from Amsterdam and Rotterdam will have to connect through Brussels for passport controls and security screening until the two governments complete an agreement allowing passport checks to be conducted in the Netherlands.

Nicolas Petrovic, the outgoing chief executive of Eurostar, said the Netherlands service heralded a new era in international high-speed rail. “With direct services from the UK to the Netherlands, France and Belgium, we are transforming the links between the UK and three of Europe’s top trading nations.”

The launch follows the completion of testing on the Dutch high-speed network and construction of Eurostar terminals in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The journey time will be 3hr 01min between London and Rotterdam and 3hr 41min between London and Amsterdam.


This is such great news.

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 9 February 2018 13:59 (one year ago) Permalink

It is. The changing at Brussels on the way back is a stupid pain mind (unless one can pop off at Centraal for a swifty in the Mort Subite obv).

Tim, Friday, 9 February 2018 14:03 (one year ago) Permalink

That is a pain. Hope they'll sort that soon.

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 9 February 2018 14:06 (one year ago) Permalink

This has sorted visiting my London mate in June and planning something for his birthday.

call me by your name..or Finn (fionnland), Friday, 9 February 2018 14:32 (one year ago) Permalink

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