The Christmas celebrations had just passed and everyone was getting prepared for the New Years Eve celebrations. As a birthday present for my partners mum, we as a family, with his sister and her boyfriend, all went to Ghent for the day.
Climbing into the car with our winter coats and bags, we made the 3 hour journey from Rotterdam to Ghent. It was predicted to be cold, and when we arrived it was raining, so not the best start. My partner’s mum was excited to have a day trip here, exploring the streets and alleyways and grabbing some Belgium treats for lunch. What she didn’t know was that my partners’ sister had booked a photographer to spend around 2 hours walking around with us, taking some amazing photos for her 50th Birthday! She was a model for the day!
The photographer lived in Ghent so she knew some great places to pose for the photos. We started by the river, into the quiet streets with typical Belgian houses, getting different angles in some other streets before finally ending up at a bright yellow wall. She was very friendly and great at giving us advice for posing together. After every few photos we would swap hats and scarves so we would have a mix of photos with different colours. It was a great experience that we all loved, and the best present for her to start the New Year celebrating her 50th!!
Once we were finished with our photography session, we were free to explore. We headed into the center where it was filled with Christmas huts and stalls around the square of the Saint Bavo’s Cathedral. It was rather busy since it was still the Christmas holidays, so we didn’t go in, but still very impressive to see from the outside.
Finding a lunch place we settled down for a hot chocolate and some delicious warm Belgian waffles. Krokantino was our choice, after walking past and seeing how ‘gezellig’ it looked with the warm heaters and blankets laid out on the chairs. Plus a place that had enough room for 5 people to sit down!
The city overall is very beautiful with lots of hidden treasures. The design of the houses really made everything look unique and the delicious smells from the Christmas stalls around the city made it very welcoming. Luckily it had stopped raining for us to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. We didn’t really do any shopping but the time spent in Ghent was pleasant. I managed to buy a magnet as our tradition continues.
After a couple of weeks we got to see the final photos, which all looked amazing! It’s a shame that you cannot receive all photos on a USB stick or a disk to keep, seeing as you already paid for her time and her photography skills. But we chose our best ones and paid for them to have the digital copies. It was worth it as they are beautifully taken and it’s definitely a one off idea that you have to do once in your life.
*This photoshoot took place in 2014.