exploring Antwerp

Antwerp Travel Blog

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my breaky
I got up really early as I had planned 
to meet Joris in town because we had
planned to do stuff together. He called
me up in the morning and unfortunately
he had over done it with his knee the
day before and it had swollen to twice
its size. He said he needed to keep off
it and so couldn’t come with me during
the day but we would still meet up for
a pub crawl later. I just went back to
bed and got up again at around 11am,
being so lazy meant I missed my free
hotel breakfast which ended at 10am and so I had to find my own food. I ended
up grabbing a feed right near the Antwerp diamond museum. It wasn’t anything
big, just a croissant and a chocolate waffle but was very tasty.
entrance to Diamond museum

I went to the diamond museum after breakfast, definitely something for people
who like jewelry and not someone like me that thinks it all looks the same.
There were a few things I thought were
cool, the main one being the Gold
Tennis racket. It is solid gold with
6.8kg of gold in it and then the
strings are covered in diamonds, there
was no value listed but id say it
would be worth several hundred
thousand dollars. Only 1 person won
that racket, that was Ivan lendl, he
won it because he won 3 titles at the
Antwerp tennis tournament. No one else
has ever won 3. After looking around
for an hour or so I bought a few small
diamonds for gifts and then left.

My next place to visit was the entrance to the sewers in Antwerp that Joris and
I booked the day before. When I got to the ticket office the guy spoke dutch
really fast and I only understood half of what he said, he said my dutch wasn’t
good enough and that for security reasons I couldn’t go.
suited up and ready to go

I messaged Joris and the news seemed
to really annoy him and 5 minutes
later I went to the tourist center
and met someone there he called for me.
She came with me and all of a sudden I
was allowed to go. I don’t know what
the problem was as I had no problem
understanding the dutch only tour.

Going through sewers definitely doesn’t
sound like fun, but I did it because it
was an interesting way to see Antwerps
past (I just imagined it was water not
anything else when walking through
certain areas). They had signs up
everywhere so could see where you were in the city and at many places you could
spy on the people above through periscopes and looking through the gaps in the
ceiling. The most amazing thing I found out is that in the 1500-1800’s they
weren’t sewers, they were actually the canals for the harbour.
near central station

They only became sewers when the dutch
filled in the harbour to build more of
the city. After 1.5 hours down there
our guide took us to the places we
walked under. We sat down in a square
and he showed us a photo of how it was
as the harbour and was really cool to
compare how the exact same location
looked today. During the tour I met
Wesley and Rolland from Den Haag in the
Netherlands and we decided to grab a
drink after the tour.

It started to rain so we decided to grab
a drink at every café between our current
location and the train station 3 km away. I had kriek (a cherry beer which is
my favorite beer now) at every location except 1. We arrived at 1 café and it
had coasters on the table advertising some beer with a V (verbant or something)
that said it came with extra blond.
somewhere in Antwerp

Had to be the worst be I have ever had,
and for some bizarre reason the bottles
had weird people on them. Wesleys bottle
and my bottle both had old women on them
and Rolland’s had a guy on his. I said
it must be a guide to see how drunk you
are, if they start looking good then you
know we have had too much. Rolland would
have to have quite a few more than us
before his one started to look good :P

After that one we went back to Kriek,
the problem with kriek is that it is
so tasty that you end up drinking it
like soda. I also got some croquettes
and frites because I was starting to feel the booze. I eventually got to the
train station and then from there walked back to my hotel. I messaged Joris
saying I was already drunk but id be ready to go out again in a while, but he
was buggered because of the knee.
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my breaky
my breaky
entrance to Diamond museum
entrance to Diamond museum
suited up and ready to go
suited up and ready to go
near central station
near central station
somewhere in Antwerp
somewhere in Antwerp
in the sewer under the city
in the sewer under the city
nice old building
nice old building
Wesley and Rolland
Wesley and Rolland
the boat in the sewer
the boat in the sewer
entrance to Sewer
entrance to Sewer
intersection showing bike paths
intersection showing bike paths
under the large market
under the large market
photo by: skydiver