16 May 2012

Belgium with the girls

Back! With a smattering of pictures from the last few days in Antwerp, and a day trip to Ghent.

After arriving in Antwerp on Saturday, and after finding some good South African wine on the best kind of special—you know, the kind that forces you to buy three bottles—we were set for our first evening of non-stop girl talk.

On Saturday we made our way to picturesque Ghent. We had a tea party to attend, and the rest of the day was spent strolling around. Ghent is definitely the place for a fun Sunday in Belgium. Just before we left I got my hands on some Gentse neuzen, a purple sweet that's quite gooey on the inside. Wikipedia just taught me that they don't last very long, so they're not exported outside of Belgium. Regional food achievement unlocked!

Monday kicked off with a revisit to the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal which was, disappointingly, under even more renovation than last time. I suppose it's not surprising then that annual running costs amount to 1.5 million Euro. We joined the Japanese tour groups in trying to make the most of the parts that we could see.

After the cathedral we moved on to Grote Markt and the folk origin of the name Antwerp. The town hall was looking very cheerful this time around, with flags poking out all over the facade. The statue of the hero that has conquered the evil giant also had its fountains switched on, so one can picture blood spurting everywhere.

Next we got our shopping and our fries-with-mayo on. I don't really have an opinion on the possible differences in taste when it comes to the two fry establishments I've tried so far, but the T2 just off the Meir is the best second-hand clothing store in Antwerp. Turn off the Meir at the Disney store. (No, I don't understand the Disney store either.)

In the afternoon we would have liked to visit the Middelheim sculpture park, but since it regards itself as a museum it is closed on Mondays. We enjoyed the sunshine in the city park instead.

And that's about it! I don't know if I would have ever visited Belgium if my friend wasn't studying there, but it has been interesting and fun both times. And I'll never tire of listening to people speaking Flemish.

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