Sabra-Sabre Meeting 2008 in Antwerp (23/12/08 ) Back

September (5) - 6 - 7 - (8) 2008

Pictures are shown on PICASA (click).

Hotel Campanile
Potvlietlaan 2
2600 Antwerpen
was the base for the reconnaissance of Antwerp by the  Sabres - Sabras attending to the meeting.

Not easy to find a hotel this close to Antwerp, with these facilities and, through the weekend: parking space.

Friday 5th

arrival of the guests from far away


We could convince our English friends to follow us to Restaurant "De Zeester" Wandeldijk 28 Linkeroever = Left Bank.
On our way there we drove through the "rabbit hole", 1930's tunnel.

Some courageous folks even ate mussels. The restaurant is a good place to remember; it was rainy, but with nice weather you can strowl around St.Anna Beach, watch the boats...
On the way back to the hotel we saw Antwerp by night from the Left Bank

Saturday 6th

Visit of Antwerp

Not easy; it goes by itself: when the Sabra meeting is to be held in Antwerp people will want to visit and learn about Antwerp. This meant quite some "selecting" or rather "un-selecting". It also meant taking public transportation. Getting into the town center with one car isn't really a problem, if the driver knows the streets.

Guided tour:
I left the decisions of how, where, what, to the guide "Nic Coppens". I know he's a master in adapting to circumstances (as he prooved to be).
So we took the bus close to the hotel, got quickly to the center of the city, switched to a tram and got to the left bank. After a look from the left bank we took the pedestrians tunnel back to the center.  Nic disregarded the Kloosterstraat (brocanteries), the "Van Dycke" house, the mode- region, and brought us to the Plantin & Moretusmuseum on the Friday-market.

The Plantin Museum is worth a days' visit but we only took a quick look in the garden and continued to the spot closest to the forlorn roots of Antwerp: The Stone Castle: with Semini fertility-god.

Then past the Buchers' house to the Community Hall, missed and disregarded Carolus Borromeus (If Rubens would find out!) and St.Pauls church, missed some musea and the university quarter. And arrived to De Vagant. Remember De Vagant and De Groote Witte Arend in the Reyndersstraat if you ever visit Antwerp again. And don't forget the Pelgrom in the Pelgrimstraat.  All nice places to get a meal or to get some beers. In fact the meal we got (Breugheltafel) was a Witte Arend meal that we took in De Vagant for opportunity reasons.

After lunch we visited the Cathedral, biggest church of the Lowlands and I don't think any tower in the region has whitnessed that many historical moments.


And afterwards went to Rubens' house (after having Sylvia study some anatomics of Rubens).

And - on request - we went to the "railway cathedral": central station, straight through the shopping area. Incredible we didn't loose people on the way; everyone from the province wants to be at the shopping area "Meir" - "De Keyserlei". We were lucky the weather forecasts weren't that good, so the crowd wasn't at maximum rate. The diamond shops were closed pity - Saturday.


The Central Station is in fact only really impressive if you knew it before the changes and the restauration.
But for us it's rather unbelievable that they managed to safeguard a (nice, dated - but still nice) 1900-building, clean it up, and adapt it to nowadays needs without destroying things. We neglected the Zoo (next to Central Station), and as I haven't the slightest idea if our Zoo is - in Europe - a nice one, still I did spend lots of nice days in the Zoo.

We reached the pub just in time I reckon (or not too terribly late)

So back to the hotel we went. At last some time to deal with cars. In fact, do we want to discover the world or do we want to discover the cars?

Afterwards came the Campanile-dinner. Kind of liked it. They mask the fysical limitations of the kitchen in a very good way.  The buffet gives you different tastes according to your choice and the main (chosen) course is simply good, and more than enough, guess even my son didn't eat his portion.  

Recently met some of my acquintances - retired - who told me they came here every weekend for evening meal, nice price-quality equilibrium they said.

Sunday 7th

double click the map to get interactive Google maps

We drove South, then West to De Schelde, then North past the city center to the Harbour.
Near Lillo there was a "reception" commity waiting for us:
Lillo is a nice place to visit; on sunny days that is. Can be as crowded as Antwerp's main streets.

Up to lunch now - through the Netherlands - a real "international" meeting - we wouldn't want to EAT in Holland though.

Don't know why, but I kind of like this picture (don't know who took it).
This just to show that we also have steam locomotives (imported from Poland):
Then back to Antwerp, during preparation time I never thought that "back to Wommelgem" could be done on nice roads, but in fact, we managed to find some.  The police museum was one of the things that I had planned to spend quite some time, after my retirement.
Circumstances and laws have changed since, so I must reconsider, but I remember to have spent good times over here.
Some people are attracted by police uniforms, certainly when there's female officers in it...?? (hint)
We were glad to have you visit Amadeus, the spare rib restaurant at St Paulusplaats.

M.o. the meeting was perfect, as I intended it to be. The same people could have had a perfect meeting anywhere, arranged by anyone, and enjoy the chats and the meeting as they are simply nice, reasonable people. Problem was to give you all the feeling to "have been in Antwerp" without depriving you of the contacts with the other contenders, I probably (proud of  having all those interesting things near) went (too) far into the reconnaissance of Antwerp, it probably took us a little too long to get get in the pub, but I thought you ought to make the effort.
I tried to be reasonable too, and as in some way I'm proud of Antwerp, it was hard for me to UN-select all those interesting visits.

I'll be on the lookout for a hotel in the Campine that can take this number of visitors.

If you want to come back to Antwerp, let me know I'll probably be able to give you some hints.

That's why I leave the announcement page intact (below).

Biggest church in the low lands, built in days (1350) that men, in a much smaller world, aged 4000 of years, felt unimportant.  Now the world is 4.5 billion years old, and much larger, still we feel more important - who's right?

Diamant museum

Silver Museum - Sterckshof

foto album Stefaan Van Slycken

Mayer  - van den Bergh small but ...

Het Steen - De Lange Wapper

Museum Plantin & Moretus

And forgot a lot.



Baker's mill


Middelheim - open air museum - parc

Choose  "Virtuele rondwandeling"

House Rockox


Greet: thank you for the magnificent pps !!! watch it: big file but beautifull

Click the picture above and then after some 20s "<Download file>"
You can than choose to open or download to eventually view a second time.

If you do not have powerpoint or don't have a PPS-viewer you can download one with Microsoft: PPS-viewer-download

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