BELGIUM: Gent/Ghent – Graffitistraat

This past weekend we found ourselves with a free Sunday.  Jared will be the first to tell you that I have an irrational need to fill up every weekend with travel.  It’s not that I don’t like Brussels.  I just want to make sure that I cross EVERYTHING off my list.  And let me tell you, it’s a big list.  We’ve definitely got our work cut out for us.

But anyways, back to this weekend: Gent.

Our first visit to Gent was about two and a half years ago.  Love at first sight may sound a little strong, but really, it was love at first sight.  Most people (okay fine, us too) wax poetic over Bruges, but Gent has much of the same charm just with a very city feel.  Plus the city’s motto is “1,000 years against the current.  Our city is stubborn and always will be. That will never change.”  Badass.  Without agenda, we wandered through the city on Sunday admiring the churches, drinking beers by the canal, and taking a million and one photos of the Graffitistraat.  I’m a sucker for color, and this, this is a color lover’s delight.

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From the information I can find, it appears that in the ‘90s the police designated this as a space where graffiti artists could practice their art legally in an attempt to deter the random graffiti tags all over the city.  The street even has its own Facebook page to document new art, which is good because it sounds like things only last untouched for a few days.  It is a shame when you walk through and see what would have been a pretty awesome piece if only it were not partially covered up by someone else’s subsequent (and far inferior) work.  The upside?  Every stroll down this alley will be like a new adventure.

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