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Published: June 15th 2017
Left the house a little passed 8 this morning, headed to Antwerp to visit some friends. After a few congested areas of traffic, we arrived our destination. The navigation on the car is incredible. It delivered us right to our friends' front door. Once inside we had a very nice breakfast and caught up a little (of course Gene had just recently seen them at the marina back home). They live "just" on the outskirts of town, so we drove a short distance and parked the car. Our first stop was Gerda's jewelry shop. She is a goldsmith. Both her daughters work in the shop. She has some very unique and beautiful jewelry. The home where the shop is located is 3 stories. The first story is a small shop, the basement is where the melting takes place, the second floor (up VERY narrow and SHORT stairs) is the workshop and the 3rd floor is a small apartment.
Once Bruno had parked the car, we started our walk through the streets of Antwerp toward the St Charles Borromeo's Church. There are a few couple of street sights as we head there.
St Charles Borromeo's Church is baroque architecture and
was built between 1615 and 1621. Peter Paul Rubens played an important role in it as a painter, decorator and architect. Some of the pictures I took I have been able to provide a little information on, others, not so much.
From there we continued our walk through the streets on to Hoogstraat. It is one of the oldest streets in the city and now contains shops and very nice restaurants.
We continued our walk over to the house of Paul Rubens. This walk took us down through The Meir (busiest shopping street of Antwerp). Many high-end retailers, etc.
I didn't take too many pictures inside the house. It was mostly rooms with his paintings, etc. Very interesting though. The pictures are mainly taken of outside the building of the courtyard and the gardens.
From there we headed back to Gerda's shop as I had left my wedding rings there for her daughter to polish. :-) They were not completed so we headed over to their "local" pub for a cold beer. Bruno offered up a couple selections for each of us, for Gene, Duvel ("combining the lightness of a Pilsner with the complexity and sheer
alcoholic oomph of a Tripel, perfect for Gene, right? ;-) ) and for me, Chimay. Very nice!
From there we headed back to pick up Bruno's car so we could head over to the Koninklijke Liberty Yacht Club for drinks and dinner. Bruno had said it would be an easier place to head out of the city from, as we had nearly a 2-hour drive back and wanted to avoid any late rush-hour traffic. We had a few drinks and dinner, both were very nice. After dinner, a CMV cruise liner took off from the port (much like we've seen from Cape Canaveral, however, the river is a much more challenging area to turn around a vessel of that size.
That's all for Tuesday. Tomorrow we head to Ghent for a river cruise around the city.
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