Blogs from Antwerp, Antwerp Province, Belgium, Europe

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Europe » Belgium » Antwerp Province » Antwerp September 6th 2019

I left the Netherlands today and took the train into Belgium. My first stop was Antwerp and the first sight I saw was the central train station. It is truly magnificent. They have kept the grandeur of the old-style station while injecting modern improvements underneath the cast-iron arches. Antwerp is famous for being the home of Peter Paul Rubens and I visited his house and studio. I have never been a particular fan of his work, but I came away with a better appreciation of him after this visit. The other city I visited today is Ghent. It’s chief claim to fame is the Ghent Altarpiece in Saint Bavo Cathedral. This was painted by Jan van Eyck in the 1400s and is famous in art appreciation circles, apparently. I have to say that it is very ... read more
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Europe » Belgium » Antwerp Province » Antwerp August 18th 2019

We feel great today - August 8th - Mimma (saved us again) was able to get us an extension on our car for another 7 days. To top it off we were able to drive to the Lille, France train station (car pick up and drop off site) on our way to Antwerp, Belgium and sign up the paperwork. We have a smooth ride (total about 230 km) into Antwerp today - M indicates that we are 600 m / 1 minute away from our hotel - we are looking forward to a 5 day stay in the city centre at a nice Hilton hotel. We will celebrate our 44th tonight and Danielle’s birthday on the 10th ( not allowed to tell you how old) in this beautiful city - we high five - smoothest travel ... read more
Fort Breendonk
Fort Breendonk entrance
Dan, Emma, Me and Danielle

Europe » Belgium » Antwerp Province » Antwerp August 7th 2019

After landing on Juno Beach June 6, 1944 the Canadian troops pushed up through to liberate Caen. In mid August they pushed on to Falaise and then pushed on and over the Seine River via Foret de la Londe and Rouen from the west. Fierce fighting was encountered. By the middle of June over 330,000 men and 45,000 vehicles had landed. To secure supply routes much needed to keep the troops and vehicles moving the British and Canadian troops were assigned the tasks of capturing major forts along the English Channel. The German forces knew this and fiercely defended these ports. In September the Canadian troops liberated Le Havre and Dieppe in France as well as the super port - Antwerp In Belgium. Antwerp was the largest deep-water port close to Germany and was connected to ... read more
Private Kelley
Why can’t I do this
Dieppe memorial museum

Europe » Belgium » Antwerp Province » Antwerp August 7th 2019

Danielle and I wake up early - as we always do on “moving day”. We have another great breakfast - I’ll never get tired of making myself perfectly boiled eggs in the Roller Grill Egg Boiler - holds up to 10 individual egg baskets - with individual egg timers (6 & 1/2 minutes makes the perfect soft boiled egg) and an egg shell cutter (scorer) for easy access. We pack, load up magpie and program “M” for Calais. The drive is beautiful up along the coastline with both stunning views of the English Channel to the east and rolling golden farmers’ fields to the west. Calais itself is anything but stunning. It overlooks the Straight of Dover - the narrowest point on the English Channel. It is a major port with endless ferries crossing back and ... read more
1940 Operation Dynamo
Soldier on a bike
Self explanatory

Europe » Belgium » Antwerp Province » Antwerp July 26th 2019

After a night spent alternately listening to thunder and hoiking a sleeping boy back into his holiday bed from the floor (until I realised that the reason he kept rolling out wasn't that he couldn't deal with the bed but that the duvet I'd put next to the bed as protection had got under the bed and effectively turned it into a ski slope) it was an early morning to get up and into the beach. This confused the b and b owner who came running after us as we left, presumably worried his keys would be taken by the crazy English folk. On the way to the beach, it dawned on me that I'd forgotten the bucket and spade bought especially for today from yesterday's trip to the supermarket. Rather than keep this in my ... read more

Europe » Belgium » Antwerp Province » Antwerp April 19th 2019

People I’ve been wanting to write about this since the first night. Who goes on these cruises? At the start it’s important to know that my experience and sampling is not even statistically significant; one National Geographic cruise and one river cruise, half over. But, actually I do have slightly more data. At every port there are several ships, all basically the same; 110-135 meters long and 3.5 meters wide. This is as big as they can be to navigate the curves and the bridges in the canals in Benelux. Often, like today, another ship is rafted up to ours (or we are rafted up to them) and the passengers pass over or through the other ship on the way to theirs. So we see the Viking, the Ama, the Seabourne and others close up. We ... read more
Sunset

Europe » Belgium » Antwerp Province » Antwerp April 11th 2018

The ship arrived in Antwerp (Belgium) quite early this morning. Again, we docked next to another ship, and there were three docked in front of us (must be a popular place). Antwerp is close to the ocean, so the river is tidal, and we have been warned that if we return to the ship, and can't see it, the ship hasn't gone anywhere, but the tide is out, and the ship is below the level of the dock! Yet another walking tour this morning, of Antwerp, but we took the "late starters" option (missed the inside of the cathedral). Had a great guide, with a fabulous sense of humour (makes all the difference), and a very interesting tour. Again, European history is so complicated, and most of it happened before Australia even existed. But Antwerp was ... read more
Antwerp Castle
Town Square
Town hall (which will apparently be completely covered in scaffolding by tomorrow)

Europe » Belgium » Antwerp Province » Antwerp June 14th 2017

Up at 0545 hrs although a slow start for others in the group due to an overdose of Belgium anaesthetic. I wandered around the local area and later in the morning Gus and I did the laundry. Following this it was a trip to the Antwerp Central Station to look at the 19th century architecture with Bob and Gus. Stunning building. We then met Fran and went to Middleheim park area to look at a few unusual sculptures with Bob and Fran. Nice place where you could spend hours and still not see everything. Fairly chilled day wandering around town.... read more
Sculpture park
Sculpture park
Fox"s Glacier mint (for the poms)

Europe » Belgium » Antwerp Province » Antwerp June 13th 2017

Up early due to the excitement of going to Antwerp and meeting Bob, my brother. We'd previously bought some ham for breakfast so it was a matter of grabbing a warm French stick and some orange juice from the local 7/11. Gus and I sat and watched the locals going to and from work whilst having breakfast. Quite a sight really given that some ladies were on their way home after night shift. This was followed by Gus complaining about his haircut and the fact he now looked like Tin Tin but at least he'd got his monies worth even if his comb was now redundant and he wouldn't need another haircut for about four months. Gus and I had preprogrammed our Garmin GPS devices to take us to Antwerp when we were in Australia but ... read more
On route from Brussels
Flanders fields of poppies
Poppy fields

Europe » Belgium » Antwerp Province » Antwerp June 13th 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 ... read more
Gerda's shop
Gerda's shop - Display window
Gerda's shop




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