Antwerpen: We’re basically in the playoffs here folks…
::Antwerpen, Belgium | July 24th – July 26th, twenty.12::
Antwerpen (or Antwerp), the capital of Flemish Belgium. A diamond magnate. A budding fashion hub. And for us? A last-ditch effort to gather some supplies and regroup before the grande finale of EuroTrip twenty.12!
First things first; check out Antwerpen Centraal. This gorgeous train station is immense in size and inspiring in detail. You really have to see it to appreciate it…
There were numerous levels within the station. I thought I snapped some pixels as we were riding the escalators up to the top level but I couldn’t seem to find them…
Our time in Antwerp seemed like a whirlwind because from the minute we got into the city, until the minute we left, we were trying to accomplish a list of tasks that were vital to our upcomming piece de resistance!
We stayed in a studio at a place called City Flats. It wasn’t too bad except for the fact that our power went out multiple times! We had bought some food for the mini fridge and didn’t want it to spoil so we had to call the property manager a couple of times to come check things out.
Long story short, the heater in our room was malfunctioning. This only became evident after it began to smell like something was burning. This shoddy appliance was popping a circuit breaker that was located in a storage closet down the hall. Neither the manager nor the ‘handyman’ seemed to think this was the issue… haha
Anyways, with that little dilemma figured out we could finally continue our hunt… for camping gear! Remember when Stace and I were in Brugges looking for items in the second-hand store? Well, we didn’t find much there so we had to continue our search here in Antwerp. Yes, there are tons of places to get high quality, expensive camping gear. But that isn’t what Stace and I were looking for. We needed more of the ‘Walmart’ version of these things as opposed to the ‘REI’ version…
Antwerp is a pretty sizable city when you are huffing it everywhere on foot. I can remember one evening after Stace and I made some dinner in the room we had a hankering for something sweet. I grabbed the change we had on the counter and ran downstairs to grab something out of the vending machine. Im pretty sure the items proudly displayed by the wire coils were collecting dust had been there for years… plus nothing was to my fancy.
I figured I would just walk around the corner and be able to find a little shop or market. Well, after wandering around for at least a couple of kilometers I finally came the equivalent of a 7-11. I quickly realized I should have brought more than just the change I had grabbed. I debated my limited options, given my lack of bankroll, and left with a single serving of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
I was sure Stace was worried about me since I was gone for what seemed like forever (and since I told her I was only running down to the vending machine)… When I finally returned, the Ben and Jerry’s offset the worry and we proceeded to enjoy our little dessert!
Antwerp has a distinct shopping district that was pretty amazing to wander around in.
Some of the buildings reminded me of the architecture and style of Goudi in Barcelona!
I forget which store we were in here, but I can remember standing there watching hoards of girls pick through a pile of clothes like vultures picking at scraps on a carcass! Glad I wasn’t the one in charge of re-folding and tidying up the store….
Stace and I walked ALL OVER Antwerp looking for a store called Sports Direct. According to their website, there were stores all over Belgium. But we had yet to find one. When it seemed like a lost cause we finally stumbled upon one that was not at all advertised for on the street.
The question now was, will they have what we are looking for at cheap enough prices? Turns out they had just enough of what we were looking for at just the right price… I know, you are still wondering why we in such dire need of camping gear. Patience my friend, you will find out in the next post :-)
One day while Stace and I were having lunch in our room, we smelled smoke…again! This time it had nothing to do with the appliances in our room. It was coming from the top floor of a building just down the street from us. We grabbed the camera and headed over to check things out!
We never saw any flames, but smoke billowed out of the windows for a considerable amount of time before (whatever it was) was extinguished by the fire department. No one seemed to be in a real big hurry so it couldn’t have been anything too dire.
When Stace and I were planning our trip through Europe, we were trying to decide twhat he best method would be to navigate through each city and country we’d be visiting. Her grandparents were so kind as to gift us an iPad before we left the States. We knew it would come in handy but I don’t think either of us could have predicted just how much we would come to rely on it.
We would always pull up maps and directions on the iPad when we had internet service and then take screen shots of them to use when we had no internet. Here are a couple of screen shots from Antwerpen:
The iPad was invaluable when we would first arrive in a new city. Once we got settled in and got our bearings, we pretty much relied oupn maps that we’d pick up at the hostels or at information offices…
Stace and I had one last thing to do before we departed Antwerp; book a couple of bus tickets that we would be needing in less than a week’s time…
We look like a couple of pack mules…
And with that, we headed back to Antwerpen Centraal to board a train for what is to be the Grand Finale of our Europe trip! Any ideas?