Grote mark

36 hours in Antwerp

One of my favourite things about Europe is how close everything is.  Back home in South Africa you drive for hours and hours to still be surrounded by vast nothingness (which I also really love, and which is a completely different story to blog about).

I can just get on a train in Amsterdam and within 3 hours I can be in France, Belgium or Germany, depending on which direction I travel.   Okay, it’s not just as easy as getting on the train.  Tickets need to be booked in advance, but you get what I mean.  This is a whole new world to me.

Centrral Station Antwerp
Just arriving in Antwerp by train is already worth taking the trip. Getting off the train and stepping into the train station makes you wonder if your trip was not only in distance but also in time.

Antwerp Central Station

 

Getting lost in time couldn’t last though, my backpack was getting heavy, and a girl has got to eat and drink.  And of course I was promised a lot more awesomeness on the other side of the station. So off we went.  We spent our 36 hours in Antwerp walking (20 000 steps), drinking beer, eating, a bit of sleeping, more eating, drinking and walking (15 000 steps).


“Your heart knows the way.  Run in that direction” – Rumi


Seeing

Russische Orthodoxe Kerk van Christus
Russian Orthodox Church of Christ
Admiring Groote Markt
Capturing some of the breathtaking buildings at Grote Markt. These buildings have so much detail its insane.
Groote Markt
Grote Markt with the (h)antwerp Statue of Bravo to the left.
Admiring smallest street
Admiring smallest street. When they call it smallest street they really mean smallest street. I wouldn’t have found it if C didn’t know what he was looking for. I thought we were entering a hallway rather than a street.
Smallest street
There is nothing small about having dinner in Smallest Street.
Oldbuildings
Images like this is just one of the many reasons why I loved walking around Antwerp.
Cathedral of our Lady
Cathedral of our Lady
Cathedral of our Lady Arch
Cathedral of our Lady – The detail of these cathedrals gets to me every time.
Building
After dinner, or more accurately, between dinners, we strolled a little bit more south of the city centre. Less crowds, quirky buildings and even more restaurants, bars and coffee shops to try out.
MAS museum
The MAS was closed on Ascension Day so we couldn’t go in. Still an impressive building from the outside. The little silver dots on the building are silver hands.

Directions

Nationale Bank van Belgie
Nationale Bank van Belgie
View from Hetsteen
View from Hetsteen

Eating

Fritkot Max
People queue for Fritkot Max fries. We were lucky to eat at a random enough time to not have to queue. From what I understand it is their wide variety in sauces that make them so special. We went for the good old fashioned Dutch style mayonnaise with our fries.
Chocolate shopping
Chocolate shopping (and eating) at G. Bastin
Creme de la crme waffle
After many hours of contemplating we finally decided to have our Belgium waffle at Creme de la Creme. They did not disappoint.
Creme de la creme
Other than having delicious waffles, Creme de la creme also cheers up your day by being bright and colourful.

Drinking

Last but not least.  I made it my mission to try as many Belgium beers that I’ve not tried before.  It was not a record breaking mission, and I ended up trying 3 or 4 different beers.  Hey, I need a good reason to go back soon!

 

Leffe at Grote Markt
Soaking up the sun and a Leffe at Grote Markt.
Beer and Trams
Surviving a De Koninck and the local tram. Although Bar Basil did not have the biggest variety of beer, this was one of my favourite spots. The tram passing every half hour (as a South African I find this very exiting), and watching people walk by on Groenplaats.
D'Anvers and Westmalle
Grote Markt from the opposite side, watching the people pass by on the plain and the Cathedral of our Lady in the background.

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