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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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?
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.