Antwerpen

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.

Ontbijt

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.

Bobbejaanland

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.

De Witte Lelie

 

The Lobby

 

Staircase leading to our room – Yikes!

 

Extra room

 

Main Room

 

Garden view from our room

 

Fresh white lilies in the room

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:

The trams I mentioned earlier

 

Distant view of the Town Hall

 

The tops of many of the buildings are beautiful and topped with gold

 

The top of the cathedral

 

Town Hall

 

Another church

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:

Tuna salad starter for me

 

Beef carpaccio for Rich

 

We shared the gnocchi

 

Veal Milanese for me

 

Veal piccata for Rich

 

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:

 

The cathedral with a beautiful night sky

 

The Town Hall

 

Some of the buildings around the square

 

Anette – we had to dump our Peugeot and they gave us this one. Ha ha!

 

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!

 

 

 

4 Responses

  1. Marcia

    Oh I remember when you left to go overseas after college, about broke my heart to have you that far away! May have to work out alot with all that rich food you are eating, lol, enjoy.

    July 10, 2012 at 7:07 pm

  2. monique

    ja ik weet ook nog dat je in boobejaanland was
    wij zijn daar toen geweest met eddy zijn ouders
    ik denk dat ik daar nog een foto van heb

    mooie fotos van antwerpen
    je moet eens binnen gaan in het treinstation het is ook heel mooi
    en het plafond is ook mooi

    July 11, 2012 at 12:40 am

  3. Camille

    Look at all the food!!! LOL!! Enjoy a true Speculoos for me!

    July 12, 2012 at 10:50 am

  4. Adrienne

    Let’s hear it for the Hanseatic League architecture! I remember how surprised I was to see it in Gdansk, Poland. Antwerp looks like a very fun place. Rain and beer are a great combination!

    July 12, 2012 at 11:50 am

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