Oops! I skipped a stop. I got so excited to share our news from Ghent that I passed over Bruges, a famous town in Belgium known for its medieval architecture, fancy lace work and In Bruges, a movie staring Colin Farrell. We visited Bruges on a day trip from Antwerp. We were only in the city for a few hours, and spent most of our time enjoying an Indian feast with a group of new friends.
My impression is that most people haven’t heard of Ghent, the city in Belgium. Up until a couple of months ago, I had no idea it existed. But you should know about Ghent because it’s shaping up to be one of the most vegetarian friendly cities in the world. In fact, in May 2009, Ghent was the first city in the world to adopt a weekly vegetarian day. The local government has recognized the positive impact of a meat-free diet and mandated every restaurant in town to have a vegetarian dish on their menu. Every Thursday, school cafeterias serve only veg-friendly options and civil servants and elected councilors are encouraged to abstain from meat for the day. Some restaurants also join in on Thursdays and offer a special vegetarian menu. But the veggie love doesn’t stop there. The city is also home to many vegetarian restaurants, and a few that are 100% vegan. We spent five days in this awesome city and ate out as often as we could.
After a couple of weeks in the Netherlands, we were ready to explore Belgium. Antwerp, or Antwerpen as the locals call it, was our first stop. We’d planned to stay there for two days but met some really nice people and stuck around for five. We ate at home most days but did manage to venture out and scope out the local vegan food scene.
I couldn’t skip breakfast if I tried. Even if I wake up late, which I seem to be making a habit of, I still manage to eat something that resembles breakfast before having lunch. To me, breakfast is the symbol of a new beginning, another chance to have a happy and healthy day. When I was in Canada, my breakfast always involved a smoothie or freshly pressed juice. Since I started traveling six months ago, I’ve encountered less than five blenders and zero juicers. Naturally, I’ve had to open up to other options. In recent weeks, I’ve had many different things for breakfast, following along with the traditions of our hosts in each city.