The long drive to the Antwerp Travbuddy meet-up and the meet-up itself

Antwerp Travel Blog

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welcome to the euro tunnel
So we got up around 6:30am or so I think it was and everyone queued up for the shower and then we were off to Antwerp! We stopped and McDonald's for some greasy breakfast and for some coffee. I don't know about anyone else but I actually love the latte's that McDonald's has lol. It didn't take us too long to get from Chelmsford to the Chunnel to go over to France. I was really excited to be driving onto a train to go over to France and just thought it was the most amazing thing ever! I think I actually took more pictures of the chunnel crossing then at the actual meet-up! So basically what happens is you drive down onto the train platform and then you drive onto the train! How cool is that?? And we had a double decker train as well so we got to drive up on the top level.
sophie, louise, alex, and me on the chunnel!
The train is really long and you drive until you can't really drive anymore and then these big doors close and then these metal gates come down so that there is about 4 cars in each compartment. I guess this is incase of a fire that it doesn't spread through the whole train etc. Once you are on the train you can get ot of the car...there isn't much to do except hang out around the car and there is a bathroom if you need it. So we just got out of the car and stood around for the 45 mintues. Even so it was still pretty exciting!! So then we got to Calais in France and we started the rest of the journey to go to Antwerp. It was a friggen HOT drive!!! It was so hot outside and I was sitting on the sun side of the car so I had it constantly on me and it was just a very warm drive.
whooo were in belgium!
I fell asleep for a little bit of the drive as well. Anyways I think everyone in Antwerp was meeting up around 1pm to go on a tour of the city and we knew we wouldn't make it there for that time so we decided to have a little detour and stop off in Brugge!! I was really excited to go to Brugge as I went there last year on my tour of Europe and I was really excited to be visiting that city again. Took us a little while to find a parking spot but once we did we walked around the city for a little bit looking for a nice outdoor cafe. We found a really nice one under an umbrella and we ordered beers. The place that we were at served Jupiler which is the beer I drank the last time I was in Brugge with Melissa and I really loved it.
ah much better hehe
So I was glad to have that again. After the beer we stopped and got some ice cream and then made our way to Antwerp to meet up with the others. The funniest thing happend in the car on the way though. Warren started to adjust his rear-view mirror and was like, "Hmmmm this mirror is a little bit crooked." As he did so, instead of adjusting it, he accidently snapped it off. HAHA it was soo funny!! We couldn't stop laughing...and then poor Alex held the mirror up for him for a little while but all he could really see was us girls in the back seat lol. Anyways we finally made it to Antwerp and we drove to Pieters house but no one was there as they were out and about so we gave Sylvie a call and she directed us to the city centre where we could meet up with everyone. We parked the car and then we went to the main square of the city I guess it is and met up with everyone at a street cafe.
mmm my favourite beer
It was so good to see Jeff, Dave, and Wendy again and I was so excited to finally meet James!! And there were quite a few new faces as well! All in all I think there was about 25 of us? Myabe 20? Can't be too sure. So we had a couple beers sitting in the cafe and people went off shopping here and there and to get chocolates etc. But then we had to head to Pieters house to drop off our stuff and get changed to go out for dinner. The car we came over in only has seatbelts for 5 people but we figured we could take atleast 7 of us in the car back to Pieters. What a fun car ride that was lol. It was Warren and Alex in the front and then in the back it was Louise, Sophie, me, and Sylvie and Jeff sitting/lying across us lol. We were just hoping we wouldn't get stopped by any coppers.
cheers!
Good thing Pieter lives right across from the police station eh??? Haha oh well as soon as we got there we literaly fell out of the car. So we were inside and we were trying to get ready as quickly as possible. We weren't even in the house for that long but when we came outside someone had already put a parking ticket on Warren's car!! And there were no signs or anythign saying we couldn't park there but he got a ticket. It was only for 20 euro but it still sucks, oh well it's not like we were actually gonna pay for it and when we showed Pieter later he just ripped it up lol. From Pieters house we had to take the tram and then another tram to get to where we were going to have dinner. We thought that we were going to be late but when we got to where everyone else was they told us that apparently the reservation wasn’t until 8:45 instead of 8:00 so we had plenty of time to spare, to visit, and to get another beer! Once it got closer to 8:45 and we had finished our drinks we headed to the restaurant for dinner.
alex holding the rearview mirror for warren haha
I can’t remember the name but it was a fairly large restaurant but it still felt really homey and it had a nice atmosphere to it. The waiters came around and told you what the choices were and I chose the salmon dinner because I haven’t had salmon in a really long time. It was a good choice too and I fairly enjoyed my dinner. Throughout dinner I was chatting with Sophie and Louise and we figured that since so many people were staying at Pieter’s house we would look for a hotel to spend the night instead. One of the bartenders told Louise of a place nearby but when we went there the place was closed which we found to be pretty weird. Oh well we would try another place...so dinner went and then everyone had to pay and it was only 22 euro each which seemed pretty reasonable.
cathedral!
Then we headed back to the main square and went to another outdoor cafe to have yet another beer haha. At this point Louise, Sophie, and I went back to the Best Western hotel that we saw earlier in the afternoon to see if they still had vacancy. As we were walking to the hotel we came across this concert that was in front of the cathedral. It was pretty cool and really loud, they were playing all these really catchy famous songs that everyone knows the words to but the titles are actually escaping me right now. We watched that for a couple minutes and then headed to the hotel. Turns out there was one room left luckily. Well technically it had been reserved for someone else but if they didn’t show up by 12am the room was ours and it was 11:30 so the chances were pretty good.
louise, sophie, me, sylvie, and jeff all in the back seat
The guy told us that it was one big bed and one little bed and that he would charge us 130 euros. Or so we thought...anyways after that was all settled we went back and met up with everyone else, had a beer and then we headed to a bar. Pieter was leading the way and he was leading us away from the main square. Anyways we came to this bar...I don’t know what it was called but this place was certainly...interesting...there was no one in this bar at all and when the 20 or so of us walked in we were the only customers. I actually heard one of the bar tenders say, “yay, people!” Everyone was like um...what is this place because there was no one there and it was really awkward. The air was also really moist and made you feel really warm and clammy even if you weren’t hot. And the smell.
me, jeff, warren, dave, and sophie at dinner
..well I don’t really want to get into it but it was uncool. It smelt like sweat and throw-up faintly and then it smelled strongly of some sort of cleaning agent to cover up to smell of sweat and throw-up. Haha well I guess I will get into it. So that sucked but I was just really wanting to party so I was like screw it I’m gonna get a beer and start drinking. So I went up to the bar to get a beer but they wouldn’t sell one to me because I didn’t have a ticket?? Well apparently you had to pre-buy drink tickets and then you could go to the bar and get some booze. Grrr....so I went to this little room thing and bought 10 euro of tickets which was a mistake and then I went to get a beer. I had just had my first sip of my beer and then Warren comes up to me and is like Alex, Louise, Sophie, and Jeff are outside and were gonna go to another bar.
me and james!!
So I was like ok well I wanna go somewhere else too but lets use these tickets and get some beers for the road. Then they said that you couldn’t bring the drinks outside which was really uncool so I ended up giving my drink tickets to James and told him that we were leaving. So the 6 of us walked back to the main square and we just wanted to get some alcohol and fast. We went to another cafe thingy but they were closing so then we went to another bar. All the other travbuddies had left the other bar as well and they came to meet us and we decided to go to the bar where everyone went last night. OK fair enough, lets go and get some booze!!! (haha I’m starting to sound like an alcoholic but I’m not! lol) so anyways we get to this other bar which was really sweet, they were playing lots of loud music and there was people dancing and it just seemed like a really cool place.
after getting the first i love you from warren, hehe thanks buddy!
Jeff came to the rescue and he bought me a beer which was really nice of him lol. After a while Sophie, me and Louise got the keys from Pieter to go to his house to pick up our bags so we could bring them back to the hotel. So we went and Jeff came with us and we caught a cab to Pieters house, we grabbed our stuff, adn we got back into the same cab and asked him to take us to the hotel. The cab ride ended up costing us 30 euro between the three of us but we didn’t care because at least we had our toothbrush and what not etc for that night. When we go back to the hotel to go to our room the guy tells us that there is a problem with the room and that there isn’t the big bed and small bed like he said. Immediately I was like, “What?!” and I think he was a little bit afraid of me because he’s like, “hold on hold on.
me and dave
...we have 1 big bed (which was really two twins pushed together) and dropped the price to 100 euro and a free bottle of champagne. So after that we were like alright sounds good, fair enough. Louise and Sophie decided to call it a night and went to bed but I was like no way, I came all the way over to Antwerp to have a good travbuddy get together and I want to party! So Jeff and I headed back to the bar to meet up with everyone else. By the time that we got there everyone was totally wankered and off their face and dancing all over the place and crazy. It was pretty hilarious and I had a good time dancing and getting into the craziness. There were quite a few stag do’s happening and there was this one guy who was in some bright pink body suit or something but then he decided to take that off and was dancing on the table in his underwear.
haha jeff comes to the rescue with beer!!!
And his underwear had a huge hole in them and his goods were hanging out, pretty friggen hilarious. I didn’t drink any more because I wasn’t drunk at all and everyone else was and it would take too much for me to catch up so it wasn’t really worth it but oh well I still had fun. I think the drunkest person was Warren and he was soo funny! I couldn’t stop laughing at him/with him. We all ended up outside the bar after because it was soo hot and he got this picture with this guy dressed up as a girl and a girl in a bunny suit and their group of friends. It’s pretty hilarious. He also apparently mooned everyone through the bar window but I didn’t not see and I’m thinking that’s maybe a good thing??? Haha I love drunk warren, so funny! So after a while everyone decided to call it a night and go back to their respective hostels/hotel/Pieter’s.
very very happening...
My hotel was about two seconds away which was pretty sweet. So all in all a pretty good meet-up and an eventful day! Just wish I didn’t have such long breaks in-between all my drinks and I could have properly partied.
lovely_lori88 says:
haha good memory and i wasn't completley smashed hehe
Posted on: May 20, 2008
pearcetoyou says:
Okay, how do you remember all the details? haha I'm lucky to remember my name after a night like this!!!
Posted on: May 19, 2008
lovely_lori88 says:
haha thanks guys ill get it written some time this weekend!
Posted on: May 16, 2008
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welcome to the euro tunnel
welcome to the euro tunnel
sophie, louise, alex, and me on th…
sophie, louise, alex, and me on t…
whooo were in belgium!
whooo were in belgium!
ah much better hehe
ah much better hehe
mmm my favourite beer
mmm my favourite beer
cheers!
cheers!
alex holding the rearview mirror f…
alex holding the rearview mirror …
cathedral!
cathedral!
louise, sophie, me, sylvie, and je…
louise, sophie, me, sylvie, and j…
me, jeff, warren, dave, and sophie…
me, jeff, warren, dave, and sophi…
me and james!!
me and james!!
after getting the first i love you…
after getting the first i love yo…
me and dave
me and dave
haha jeff comes to the rescue with…
haha jeff comes to the rescue wit…
very very happening...
very very happening...
me, sophie, and louise in the back…
me, sophie, and louise in the bac…
alex got the front!
alex got the front!
warren driving
warren driving
checking in
checking in
freaky pigeons haha
freaky pigeons haha
dont know what it is but its cool
don't know what it is but its cool
driving down to the platform!
driving down to the platform!
coming up to the train
coming up to the train
crazy, you drive onto the train!!!
crazy, you drive onto the train!!!
up to the 2nd level
up to the 2nd level
this is the doors that shut
this is the doors that shut
and then the gates come down and l…
and then the gates come down and …
haha looking cool
haha looking cool
me and warren
me and warren
woops warren hit the door on the r…
woops warren hit the door on the …
leaving the train
leaving the train
eurostation
eurostation
more pictures of the eurostation
more pictures of the eurostation
windmills
windmills
what is this bug??it looks very cr…
what is this bug??it looks very c…
warren getting in the way of my ca…
warren getting in the way of my c…
sophie, louise, and me
sophie, louise, and me
dave and louise
dave and louise
trying to get a pic of alex infron…
trying to get a pic of alex infro…
haha when i saw this i was like,C…
haha when i saw this i was like,"…
yummy salmon
yummy salmon
wendy and me
wendy and me
hahah looking good!
hahah looking good!
sophie, louise, and warren
sophie, louise, and warren
me and jeff!
me and jeff!
teh cathedral at night, so pretty!
teh cathedral at night, so pretty!
louise and me
louise and me
concert infront of the cathedral t…
concert infront of the cathedral …
me and dave again
me and dave again
me and joost with some sneaky peop…
me and joost with some sneaky peo…
happening bar
happening bar
me and pieter
me and pieter
me and dave yet again! :)
me and dave yet again! :)
Antwerp Hotels & Accommodations review
The hotel that saved us!
I really like this hotel mainly because we needed it at the last minute and it came to the rescue. Staff are very nice and accommodating. At first the… read entire review
Antwerp
photo by: skydiver