A trip to Antwerp was long overdue. I’ve been meaning to go every single time I was in Belgium, but it eluded me time and time again. After I go back to Bordeaux next week, I don’t know when I’ll come back to Belgium, so I decided last Friday that I’d make that trip to Antwerp on Saturday, rain or shine. Well, it rained, and it rained hard. (Not that I was surprised – I had no hope of a sunny day when the weather forecast boasted a 80% chance of precipitation.) It wasn’t the best condition for going on a day trip, but hey, I wasn’t going to back out. Let the rain fall!
Antwerp is located in Flanders, the Flemish region of Belgium. It is the second largest city in Belgium, after Brussels, and it has one of the largest ports in the world. Antwerp is one of those Belgian cities, like Ghent, whose name is different in English, Flemish, and French. Respectively, the names are Antwerp, Antwerpen, and Anvers.
I had wanted to stay in Antwerp for the whole day, take a stroll around the city, maybe a nice promenade along the Schelde river, but the rain ruined most of the plan. As a result, my umbrella died (it was half broken already) so I got a new one, and my shoes and socks were soaked. Yuck. Definitely not pleasant to walk around with wet feet. So instead of leaving in the evening, I went back to Louvain-la-Neuve in the afternoon to escape the gloom.
I played around with today’s set of images on Picasa, in order to make them look better than they really are, due to the grey skies which show up horribly in photos. Being in the rain all day also trained me in the “skill” of single-handed picture-taking, absolutely necessary in order to stay somewhat dry for the day!
Arriving in Antwerp central station, it was almost 11:30 in the morning. The train station itself is a grand attraction in Antwerp. From every angle, up and down, left and right, in and out, it looks and feels more like a sophisticated museum than a train station.