My first day in Belgium...

Antwerp Travel Blog

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Yep, at the airport and on Travbuddy already!

Okay...pictures for now...the blog will be forthcoming.

I arrived in Brussels Belgium right on time...7:40 in the morning. I was relieved of that because Sylvie was coming by train from Antwerp to meet me and I didn't want to inconvenience her. But then came Customs! 12 different flights must have come in all at the same time and the lines through border patrol were long and slow. It took nearly an hour to get through, collect my luggage, and finally make it out to arrivals where Sylvie said she would wait. After just a couple of minutes of searching through the crowd, Sylvie spotted me first. It was a super feeling to finally meet her in person. We hugged each other and were just as happy as we could be. But poor Sylvie, if she had only known I would be late, she could have slept another hour!

Now we were to wait on Jeff who was supposed to be coming in at 9, but his plane was late and didn't get in until 10.

The early evening group!
But Sylvie and I bought some coffee and then sat outside on my suitcases and talked the time away. I believe we were just as crazy together in person as we are on TravBuddy! When Jeff arrived we decided to do a tour of the Grand Palace square in Brussels. It was perfect for me because I had to get an ungodly number of pictures on this trip, anyway...400 to be exact! We spent maybe an hour or so on the tour, bought some postcards, took pictures, and Jeff and Sylvie also had some waffles. Then it was on the train for Antwerp where we were to meet Pieter and Martin.

At the train station in Antwerp we immediately found Pieter and Martin patiently waiting on us. Handshakes and hugs all around and then we took to the streets and eventually took a rest near the curbside while waiting on Wendy to meet us.

Cathedral in Antwerp!
It was a joy to finally meet Wendy, but then we had to leave her behind so that she could check into her hostel and the rest of us could check into Kornifilag’s Castle. Another short train ride and we were there!

 

(Pieter, we can’t thank you enough for putting up with all of us and letting us lay our heads down wherever there might be space!)

After a full day and night of travel, I was ready for a shower, shave, and change of clothes. While doing that, another Travbuddy showed…Alex-B, my smoking buddy!!! Hmmm…I sure do hope I remember all the exact details as I write, but please forgive me in advance in case my mind short-circuits.  Our next port of call was back near the train station to meet Sir Bennie.

The famous circle shot! Martin, Wendy, Devika, Ashish, Kim, Pieter, Sylvie, and me.
I was anxious for this moment because Bennie and I have done a lot of talking on TB…we even had gifts for each other!!!

 

Bennie was everything I thought he’d be: soft-spoken, friendly, and good-natured. My gift from him was a coffee cup with his TB profile picture on it! Haha Ah! I couldn’t have asked for anything better. And now I get to look at his MUG every morning!

So…who was next to show up? Devika!!! Ah, the lovely Devika, it was so nice to meet her, also. Then Ashish from Zurich met us at the Quick restaurant where we grabbed a “quick” bite to eat.

 

From there we found an Irish pub where we visited for just a bit and then it was off to another establishment not too far away where we met up with Daniel and Wouter.

Brussels airport.
And after this we found our way down in the middle of the action where the tall cathedral was. Wow! What a beautiful building at night time with the lights glowing on it!!! We took some tables and chairs in front of a café just across from the cathedral, ordered drinks, and let the night begin. Kim also joined us, which meant there were Sylvie, Pieter, Martin, Alex, Wendy, Devika, Bennie, Jeff, Wouter, Ashish, Daniel, Kim and me.

 

Our next stop was a dance club, which I cannot recall the name…but perhaps I’ll have it when I continue….

 

And thanks to Alex-B, I now know the name of the club.  Here is his version of the story taken directly from his comment: “It's called in Dutch: De Vuile Was, translated as The Dirty Laundry.

Quick burger establishment!
No kidding James, I am sober now while typing this, hahaha”

And now you know the rest of the story! Well, it didn’t end there, of course. We danced, drank, took pictures (obviously), and had just a fabulous time visiting with each other. Sometime around 2 or 3 we eventually parted ways. Sylvie, Dave, Jeff and I left first and took a cab back to Pieter’s. But the rest of the group wasn’t far behind. Pieter, Alex, and Ashish arrived soon afterwards. The party wasn’t exactly over, but I don’t even recall how late we were up partying at Pieter's…somebody, please help me! It was a great night, regardless of when it ended, and now for a few winks to be rested for the big day!

 

Andrioux says:
Wow -- what a great read! I have no idea how you organized a trip with so many people all arriving at different times. What a logistical feat. I suppose we have new technology to thank for that. Maybe I should invest in a proper mobile, rather than my old hunk-o-junk which has no internet access!

Great blog. Also, I like your gift idea... I'll have to present someone with a gift like that at some point.

Cheers!
Posted on: May 20, 2013
skydiver says:
The first night ended at 4am...I remember it exactly cause I got only 2 hours of sleep as I had to wake up at 6am to catch that bus to Dusseldorf, haha.
Posted on: Jun 10, 2008
Africancrab says:
Incredible blog, looks like an exciting bunch you had - well not with Sylvie there
Posted on: May 16, 2008
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Yep, at the airport and on Travbud…
Yep, at the airport and on Travbu…
The early evening group!
The early evening group!
Cathedral in Antwerp!
Cathedral in Antwerp!
The famous circle shot! Martin, We…
The famous circle shot! Martin, W…
Brussels airport.
Brussels airport.
Quick burger establishment!
Quick burger establishment!
Sitting outside the Brussels airpo…
Sitting outside the Brussels airp…
I think I was smiling too big!
I think I was smiling too big!
While Sylvie is checking for the r…
While Sylvie is checking for the …
Flying into Brussels
Flying into Brussels
Sylvie riding the escalator.
Sylvie riding the escalator.
Sylvie filling out the train ticke…
Sylvie filling out the train tick…
Birds eye view of Brussels.
Bird's eye view of Brussels.
Jeff and me on the train.
Jeff and me on the train.
What the hell have I gotten myself…
What the hell have I gotten mysel…
Jeff
Jeff
Sylvie and Jeff in Brussels.
Sylvie and Jeff in Brussels.
Hi Sylvie!
Hi Sylvie!
Hi Jeff!
Hi Jeff!
Come on!!! Or were leaving your a…
Come on!!! Or we're leaving your …
A statue in Brussels...who is it a…
A statue in Brussels...who is it …
Sylvie and me.
Sylvie and me.
At the Grand Palace Square.
At the Grand Palace Square.
Brussels Grand Palace
Brussels Grand Palace
Sylvie and me posing in front of t…
Sylvie and me posing in front of …
Grand Palace in Brussels.
Grand Palace in Brussels.
Sylvie, we never did tip this guy!
Sylvie, we never did tip this guy!
Waffles!!!
Waffles!!!
Which one do I want?
Which one do I want?
Mmmmmmm.....
Mmmmmmm.....
Us again!
Us again!
Heading back to the Brussels train…
Heading back to the Brussels trai…
The board at the train station.
The board at the train station.
I have no clue where or when this …
I have no clue where or when this…
Martin at the Antwerp station.
Martin at the Antwerp station.
Just a bunch of bums.
Just a bunch of bums.
Pieter the Great!!!
Pieter the Great!!!
Jeff.
Jeff.
Martin.
Martin.
The brick sucking machine!
The brick sucking machine!
Jeff and Martin on the train.
Jeff and Martin on the train.
Pieter...just thinking about thing…
Pieter...just thinking about thin…
On the way to Pieters castle.
On the way to Pieter's castle.
Pieters mean machine!
Pieter's mean machine!
The view from Pieters castle.
The view from Pieter's castle.
Alex, Sylvie, Martin, and Jeff.
Alex, Sylvie, Martin, and Jeff.
There wasnt much on TV anyway!
There wasn't much on TV anyway!
Me.
Me.
Alex and me.
Alex and me.
Guess who?
Guess who?
Martin.
Martin.
Jeff.
Jeff.
Alex and me, again. Put that camer…
Alex and me, again. Put that came…
Sylvie and me.
Sylvie and me.
And again...
And again...
And again...
And again...
Me and Bennie.
Me and Bennie.
The two Sirs!
The two Sirs!
Alex-B! Youre beautiful, man!!!
Alex-B! You're beautiful, man!!!
Jeff just chillin
Jeff just chillin'
And Pieter absorbed in his intelle…
And Pieter absorbed in his intell…
Nice profile, Sir Bennie.
Nice profile, Sir Bennie.
At the Irish pub...Martin and Piet…
At the Irish pub...Martin and Pie…
Bennie and Jeff.
Bennie and Jeff.
Alex and Martin.
Alex and Martin.
Bennie, Sylvie, me, and my pinkie!
Bennie, Sylvie, me, and my pinkie!
Our next stop after the Irish pub.
Our next stop after the Irish pub.
Yep, its me and the two Bennies.
Yep, it's me and the two Bennies.
Wouter, Daniel, and Devika.
Wouter, Daniel, and Devika.
Wouter and his camera.
Wouter and his camera.
Daniel.
Daniel.
Daniel and me discussing important…
Daniel and me discussing importan…
Son, I am praying for you!
Son, I am praying for you!
She just got her nails painted wit…
She just got her nails painted wi…
Sylvie.
Sylvie.
Kim and Bennie.
Kim and Bennie.
Now we are at the center of Antwer…
Now we are at the center of Antwe…
The party has started!
The party has started!
The cathedral.
The cathedral.
Wouter, Martin, Devika, Alex, and …
Wouter, Martin, Devika, Alex, and…
Kim and Bennie.
Kim and Bennie.
Daniel and Ashish.
Daniel and Ashish.
Hi Wendy!
Hi Wendy!
Hi Jeff!
Hi Jeff!
Half of Martin, and all of Devika …
Half of Martin, and all of Devika…
I wasnt ready for this one becaus…
I wasn't ready for this one becau…
Me, Kim and Bennie.
Me, Kim and Bennie.
The wine was flowing.
The wine was flowing.
And the cigarettes were smoking.
And the cigarettes were smoking.
Im asleep! Leave me alone!
I'm asleep! Leave me alone!
Okay, she woke me up!
Okay, she woke me up!
Cheers!
Cheers!
That glass of wine looks lonely.
That glass of wine looks lonely.
The cathedral.
The cathedral.
Alex.
Alex.
Ashish and Wouter putting on his..…
Ashish and Wouter putting on his.…
Kim and Bennie.
Kim and Bennie.
No one is looking at the camera.
No one is looking at the camera.
I think the wine is beginning to f…
I think the wine is beginning to …
Drink up, Kim.
Drink up, Kim.
Oh, this must really be an interes…
Oh, this must really be an intere…
Hello again, Wendy.
Hello again, Wendy.
Wendy, youre sooooo sweet!
Wendy, you're sooooo sweet!
haha...cover your damn faces peopl…
haha...cover your damn faces peop…
Ashish and Daniel are interested i…
Ashish and Daniel are interested …
What is that you see, Devi?
What is that you see, Devi?
Bennie and Kim.
Bennie and Kim.
Wouter and Bennie.
Wouter and Bennie.
Let me tell you something, Wendy.
Let me tell you something, Wendy.
Pieter.
Pieter.
Talk about catching the RED EYE! I…
Talk about catching the RED EYE! …
Geez...I am sooooo wined up! But d…
Geez...I am sooooo wined up! But …
Martin and me.
Martin and me.
Ashish and Wendy.
Ashish and Wendy.
Wink for the camera, Pieter.
Wink for the camera, Pieter.
I love you!
I love you!
Sylvie and me...still wasted.
Sylvie and me...still wasted.
Pieter.
Pieter.
Alex the great photographer!
Alex the great photographer!
Sylvie and Dave!
Sylvie and Dave!
Sylvie and Jeff.
Sylvie and Jeff.
Daniel says Not me!
Daniel says "Not me!"
Sylvie and Wendy.
Sylvie and Wendy.
Jeff, Sylvie, and Wendy.
Jeff, Sylvie, and Wendy.
Sylvie and Wouter.
Sylvie and Wouter.
Sylvie and Martin! Love that look,…
Sylvie and Martin! Love that look…
Sylvie and Devi...licking the chee…
Sylvie and Devi...licking the che…
Seems to be a lot of tongues hangi…
Seems to be a lot of tongues hang…
Awwwww!
Awwwww!
Sylvie and Kim.
Sylvie and Kim.
Ashish praying praying to the Belg…
Ashish praying praying to the Bel…
Taking a picture of Alex taking a …
Taking a picture of Alex taking a…
Daniel laughing it up!
Daniel laughing it up!
Dave and Sylvie! That was such a n…
Dave and Sylvie! That was such a …
Alex and me.
Alex and me.
Crap!!! This is soooo silly! Remin…
Crap!!! This is soooo silly! Remi…
Me and Daniel.
Me and Daniel.
Dave and me.
Dave and me.
Devi...are you feeling okay?
Devi...are you feeling okay?
Wendy and me.
Wendy and me.
Devika, Wendy, and me.
Devika, Wendy, and me.
I look so f*cked up!
I look so f*cked up!
Yes...we are just a wee bit wasted!
Yes...we are just a wee bit wasted!
Put that camera away, Sylvie.
Put that camera away, Sylvie.
Yes, Alex...Im a lucky boy! haha
Yes, Alex...I'm a lucky boy! haha
Sylvie in her KC Missouri shirt!
Sylvie in her KC Missouri shirt!
Wendy proudly wearing her KC Misso…
Wendy proudly wearing her KC Miss…
Cool me off, Alex.
Cool me off, Alex.
Outside the club.
Outside the club.
Ashish...what are you doing?
Ashish...what are you doing?
Alex and Sylvie.
Alex and Sylvie.
Devika...looking so lovely.
Devika...looking so lovely.
Jeff and Sylvie.
Jeff and Sylvie.
Bennie, Sylvie, and me.
Bennie, Sylvie, and me.
Antwerp
photo by: skydiver