As soon as you walk into a transit point, it's the sad reality when you realise your travelling is over 🚈😔 Really enjoyed it here, thank you Antwerp, and thank you Belgium 🌍 Till next time 🖤💛❤
On my way back to the train station, I stopped off in Stadspark, the main city park of Antwerp 🌲🌳 Pleasant, with cyclists, elementary kids running about and suddenly cute rabbits popping up as they cleared off 🚴♂️🚴♀️🏃♂️🏃♀️🐇 Only bizarre part was that the water body had dried out ⌛
My final touristy event was the Brouwerij De Koninck 🍺 It is an interactive tour around what is the city's most famous alcohol company. My favourite part had to be the pretend 1800s pub. The tasters at the beginning and end were cool too 😎
As I walked away from the Harmonie tram stop I got off at, it was a nice little walk through a park. Today's weather is so much better ☺☀️
Where I'm heading today is a little out-of-town so I grabbed the local tram 🚋 They are a bit crooked and some of the stops are like countryside bus stops in the UK 🤣 But overall, I'm glad to have experienced it.
Final morning in Antwerp 😔 As it's cheap, easy and near where I was heading, I grabbed a few paninis from Chipz. Humans are bad creatures of habit 😂
28 March 2018
As I was already in the area, I decided to have an early dinner. I was debating if it was worth getting a burger, especially as I'm in the states next week 🌎 But no regrets, Napo's served it in such a different and elegant way 🍔
After all that walking, I sat down for an ice coffee and croissant in the Belgian coffee shop chain Pelican Rouge nearby 🍵🥐
I wondered around the docks for a little bit and this butchers caught my eye 👀🍖 Shame I couldn't buy anything, looked awesome 😕🍗
⬅️ Built (though still not completed) between 1352 and 1521, the Cathedral of Our Lady has dominated the Antwerp skyline for 500 years 😍🌁
Next was one place I was looking forward to visiting, the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS). A lot more modern that the previous museums 😅 It was very deep, talking about feeding the world, life & death, and where humans originated from 👻 The panoramic city view on the roof is marvellous 😍🌁 Plus it was my lucky day, entry was free !!
After a very relaxed morning, I finally left the hotel and started walking towards the docks. Food is first priority though 🍽😏 I stopped at Roest, a really cool eatery with plants everywhere and a see-through floorboard. I ordered beef carpaccio and it was gorgeous, proper lunchtime food 🍞
27 March 2018
The last bar I went to was actually more of a restaurant, but had a pub on the side of it. The pub was too crowded so I just sat at the rim of the restaurant as I caught the last few mins ⚽️🍻
The third bar was The Irish Times Pub, and the HT whistle went just as I walked in with it still 2-0. England vs. Italy was also on with us winning 1-0. The barman was Irish so we had a short but nice conversation 🍀 I got comfy there so I stayed a while and had 3 pints 🍺🍺🍺 It got to 79 mins with Belgium 4-0 up from Michy Batshuayi and Kevin De Bruyne ⚽️⚽️
The second bar was called Café Pelikaan, where they have very interesting coasters 🤣🍻 I stayed from 33 to 42 mins, Belgium scored just as I was leaving through Romelu Lukaku ⚽️
I decided to start a bar hop based on the Belgium vs. Saudi Arabia football game. I started walking towards the old town and the first bar screening it was De Kroeg. I found it amusing that their Wi-Fi password was "Jimihendrix" 🤣🍻 I arrived on 16 mins and left at 29 mins with Belgium 1-0 up.
On the way back to my hotel, I stopped off at this takeaway chain called Chipz 🍟 I noticed yesterday it's quite a popular student eating hub in this area.
I decided to go to the Museum Plantin-Moretus, also highly recommended. It is a creaking, timbered home of a printing pioneer from the Renaissance era. Rare books and maps alongside some of the world's oldest printing presses made it worth the trip 😏📃
I walked to Kloosterstraat, the well-known antique and fashion district 🛋👡 But the restaurant I wanted to go for lunch was closed, so I sat down with a drink to decide what to do next 🤔
Next stop, the highly regarded Rubenshuis. A really interesting restored home of Rubens, a famous artist from Antwerp in Roman times. The building is stored with really rare art and sculptures surrounding his life 🕵️♂️📿
It started to rain, seems the forecast wasn't lying after all 🌧 So I took the opportunity to take a break from walking and grab a drink 🍵 This place called Coffeelabs has a very familiar vibe and aroma to it, but I couldn't figure it out. I ordered their 'Chai Haze', which seemed very popular, and I'm not surprised 😊
As soon as I saw this stand right in the centre of the Meir shopping street, I thought, "there's no way you can come to Belgium and not have one of their famous waffles" 🥞😍 So good, and for only €2.50 !!
I arrived at The Chocolate Line, a choco shop with some very impressive creations. And of course, it's Easter this weekend so it was heavily influenced by that. I thought it'd be rude to walk in just taking pics so I treated myself 😄🐰
A statue of Petro Paulo Rubens, whose home, now a museum, I'll be visiting later 🕦
I did already see the Cathedral of Our Lady yesterday but I left pics for today instead 📸 I didn't go inside but the exterior justifies it anyhow ⛪😍
My first mini job this morning is every unorganised traveller's woe: not having a plug adaptor for foreign sockets. At least that's sorted, even if it was €16 😱💰
First thing this morning I stopped off at a Belgian bakery chain to buy a baguette for brekkie 🥖 I've also noticed they seem to like sparkling drinks a lot here (the ice tea) 😮
26 March 2018
Cobbled lanes and quaint architecture 😍 I nipped back to the square for a few nighttime shots. Dazzling 🌠
In the bible, isn't it a sin to drink? 😂🕎 Not in this unique bar restaurant around the corner 🍺 Elfde Gebod is a medieval masterpiece covered in angels, saints and pulpits. I ordered the Konijn (rabbit stew) and the bars very own blond ale 🐇🍻 All for €21.45, worth it 👌
The first touristy thing I did in Antwerp was stare the pretty Stadhuis, the city hall in the scenic Grote Markt (market square). As the medieval heart of the old town, slim Italo-Flemish style Renaissance buildings sit on every side 😍⛪
A lovely short walk to my hotel, Quality Hotel Antwerpen Centrum Opera, which looks a little shabby on the outside 🏬 My room wasn't quite ready yet so I waited in the lounge with coke & snacks. My room (503) was small but cosy 🛏
Travel took 7½ hrs 😴 I left Preston at 4am, took a coach to the airport, flew into Belgium, got another coach to Bruxelles-Midi station before a train to Antwerp. But Antwerpen-Centraal made up for it all. Awesome station with multiple layers of platforms 😍🚈