We left Maastricht early this morning after having our typical Dutch breakfast at one of the cafes. Those of you on Facebook already saw this picture but I wanted to include it in the blog.
When we left Maastricht, we had no problems getting out of the city and immediately into Belgium – it’s very close. Of course, the rain started as soon as we hit the main highway…. at times, extremely hard. We made a slight detour because I wanted to drive by Bobbejaanland – it’s now a major theme park like Knott’s Berry Farm but when I graduated from college, I worked here for several months. That was before it became a theme park. When I worked there, I waited on tables and had a great time.
We drove directly to our hotel in Antwerp – well, not necessarily directly because I missed the first cue that Marie gave me and as a result, we had to drive right through the middle of the city. It’s a tough city to drive in because of the numerous tram tracks and the number of one way streets. The hotel is wonderful. It’s a small boutique hotel right in the middle of Antwerp and it’s where we stayed 10 years ago. It’s called De Witte Lelie (the white lily). Here are a few pictures of the room and the hotel in general.
We spent the rest of the afternoon cafe hopping and enjoying the sites. We were lucky because the rain had stopped but the sky was gloomy most of the afternoon. Here are some of the sites:
I should tell you that even though we had a hearty breakfast this morning, we still had lunch when we arrived in Antwerp. I had mussels with french fries and Rich had a croque monsieur – a couple of beers with them naturally. You can see that we haven’t necessarily stayed on any healthy diets while on vacation. We’ll have to deal with that when we get home. Meanwhile, we went back to the hotel, rested, and got ready for dinner. Rich wanted Italian so the hotel recommended a great Italian restaurant that was extremely busy and noisy – a lot of fun. Again, the languages were all screwed up. For some reason, there was French mixed with Flemish mixed with Italian. I’m not really sure what language I ordered in but it was all part of the fun. We had to wait a long time to order, to get our food, and wait between courses. But, Faisal, you would have been happy because we had plenty of bread, olive oil, and red wine to keep us content. Here’s what we had:
After all that food it was time to take a little walk – we finished dinner at 10pm and then walked around the city and back to the hotel. Here are some nighttime shots of Antwerp:
That’s it for tonight. We had a great first day in Antwerp and are looking forward to our experiences tomorrow. Let’s hope we don’t eat as much as we did today!