Sunday, June 26, 2011

'Bye Benelux

For our last day in Benelux it happened to be a Friday so we went to the Friday Market which turned out to be an auction. All the good to be auctioned off were in the square with the 'auctioneers' if you will. Then there was a rope keeping all the purchasers out but if you asked kindly they would let you in to walk around and take a look at some things. We had fun watching the auction for a while, I'd never seen an auction before!
After we were done watching we did a walking tour around Antwerp where we of course continued finding fun views of the belfry.
The walk also took us through the only remaining medieval street in Antwerp, seen below.
Then we learned that the first skyscraper in Europe was built in Antwerp around 1890. Here she is in all her glory.
And apparently Napoleon called Antwerp home for a while and while he did so he lived in this beauty which now lies in the middle of a posh pedestrian mall.
Next we stopped at the oldest bakery in Antwerp, Goossens and tried their specialty roggeverdommeke which is brown bread with raisins and is delicioso!
Then we rounded out our walk through the diamond district on our way to the train station. It was disappointing not being able to see any of the diamond trading going on and instead find a bunch of chintzy diamond stores. But it was still fun to see all the Hasidic Jewish men walking or biking around with suitcases of diamonds.
We hopped on a train back up to Amsterdam and meet up with Fede for a couple hours of beers next to the Amstel river and we flew home.
I loved the Benelux area more then I ever thought I would. I thoroughly enjoyed wandering the cities finding old buildings, relearning the history of the area, and of course tasting yummy beers! I would gladly return to the area. We were initially hoping to make it to Luxembourg or spend a day driving to one of the remote Abbeys to see the monks and the breweries but we were having too much fun in the cities so that will have to wait until next time! Have you been to Benelux? If so what did you love or hate? If you haven't what would you want to do there?
Love Always,


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