CONTINUED. Belgium part deux…
As we drove out of Bruges I exclaimed that I had left something behind. Hugh panicked and started to change gears so I had to explain what I had left.. “A PIECE OF MY HEART HUGH, A PIECE OF MY HEART!” When I was younger I remember our family friends used to have a saying that applied to their family holidays; “we never wanted to leave the place we never wanted to go too” It felt very apt. Bruges… i’ll be back.
Moving right along.. my attention was quickly pulled back to the present as we drove past some funky looking cows, sheep and a donkey. He could moonlight in a new adaptation of Winnie the Pooh with his long floppy ears and grey coat. Hugh and I were enthusiastically discussing this ‘Eeyore of the wild’ when I managed to spill gravy from the aforementioned balls from the previous post all over my white tshirt. The drive to Antwerp from Bruges is around an hour, depending on traffic. I had read Antwerp has a population of five hundred thousand, so not too dissimilar to my hometown of Christchurch. It wasn’t long before we had arrived, checked into our room and ordered a drink in the hotel bar…
We carefully selected a restaurant nearby the Grand Café De Rooden Hoed. I hope you read that with an accent, do it again, Cafe De Rooden Hoed! It was tough to go past the the ‘stables’ restaurant with Horse meat on the menu, a (Belgium delicacy) but we thought we would give it a miss especially after our appreciation of the very alive donkey we saw earlier.
Hugh ordered a steak and I ordered Moules & Frites (Mussles and fries, a pretty easy one to translate), The moules were served in a big bucket and were DIVINE
With our stomachs full we decided to wander around in the cold and in the dark, because that’s what you do in a new city……
We purchased a bottle of red wine before falling asleep and soon it was SUNDAY MORNING!
This time we didn’t have to go very far, Hotel buffet complete with egg options and might I add, a fantastic pastry and muesli selection….
After breakfast we set off to view Antwerp in the daylight… the buildings were on a larger scale to those we saw in Bruges and as it was a Sunday in Europe (Sunday sloth day) it was a quiet morning on the streets.
Next we decided to walk along the River Scheldt to check out the Port
We then we visited the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) it’s the red/orange/burgandy? coloured building in the above photo. We climbed to the rooftop to take in the view and experience the exhibition of photos taken of Antwerp refugees as we commenced up the escalators.
The photo below depicts The Pontoon bridge built in 1914 made by anchored boats and planks to create walkways, it was an important supply route for military equipment and an escape route for the citizens.
After our visit to the mueseum we had time to look around the city and purchase some goods before returning to the car to drive home to Paris. Below are some scrumptious Antwerp cakes. I was intrigued the the banana cake…. could this be a type of rogue Banoffee? If you know, please tell me. I am haunted by my decision not to try it…
We crawled back into Paris, along with every single other Parisian who had decided to flee the city for the weekend. We unpacked our bags and carefully uncovered our purchases which I am now going to share with you
1) Chocolate, an array of chocolate. But special mention to this brown box of heaven. If you’re in Bruges/Belgium Dumon is a MUST VIS
Too late to take a photo of the inside see ya horse head
2) A “Laaa Dee daaa” Picnic basket. The leather, the buckles, the real glass champers glasses. I could legitimately invite Kate Middleton for a Parisian picnic now. And she would accept, and bring scones with whipped cream and I would ask her if I could please be her/be her friend forever BFF. And someone else would try to sit down and we (Kate and I) would look from the basket to them and say “you can’t picnic with us”
3) We bought two tapestry cushion covers, tapestry is another skill of the Belg people. Upon further reflection I’ve decided I am going to frame the Fox tapestry as he looks like such a gentleman, and no-one in their right mind puts a gentleman in the corner (or on a couch). Knowing Hugh he will lounge all over Mr F. Fox and I can’t bear for that to happen. P.s those large white stickers are removable, they are just there to give them the Belg stamp of authenticity. I should’ve removed them from the photos before I took them.. Ah regrets.
4) And lastly for the gal who truly believes chocolate is a breakfast food (and an any time of the day food) Chocolate Liquor.
THAT’S BELG DONE!
Till next time my friends.